I read a recent article on the Art of Manliness blog called Strip or Retire: Why Every Man Should Have Skin in the Game. This advice can apply to many of us.
In it, the author discusses how in ancient times, your reputation was constantly questioned. If you recommended going to war, people questioned what made you qualified to recommend such an action. Back then, men would open up their tunics to reveal their battle scars, proving they knew what the risks were, and were willing to advocate actions that they had taken themselves. The men, in other words, had “skin in the game.”
I’m not going to war or anything, but this article struck me as an Instructional Designer. As part of my job, I’m constantly called upon to provide recommendations to faculty that I work with. That might mean recommending an organizational structure for an online course, a specific technology, or course activities. Here’s the problem: I’ve never formally taught in an academic setting. So how can I possibly look at a faculty member and say, “This is the best tool for teaching online” when I’ve never taught myself? I realized that I could not do this with integrity much longer.
Thankfully, I’ll be teaching in the fall at Rutgers University‘s School of Communication & Information (SC&I). I’m teaching Object-Oriented Programming in the Information Technology & Informatics (ITI) undergraduate program. In addition, I’m in the middle of some additional opportunities to teach online.
I’m looking forward to having some skin in the game, and showing off my battle scars in the future.