May 1, 2010

Here we go.  I have been asked (and finally agreed) to teach my first online course.  I have had no training for online teaching, I have no distance learning pedagogy, and frankly sometimes technology scares me a bit–but alas, they would like me to teach an online course.

The chronology: I was asked about mid-April to teach an online class in June.   My instistution offered training…about 45 minutes of training with the techonology person (not an instructor).  Therefore, as I already knew how to log onto the system and picked up navigating it quite easily, my trainer had very little to “train.”  o real examples were used, and I could not anticate any issues I may have in future.  Frankyly, it was a waste of time.

Next, I spoke with a colleage.  She not only had taught online (and hated it), she offered to “give” me the templete for her class.  This is a must.  Find someone.  Anyone who has taught the course you are about to teach.  Ask if you could have the latest version of the class to use as a templete.  This way, you at least have a safety net if all else goes awry. In addition, you can build from it, steal from it, or even plain out use some of it completely unchanged.  It alleviates a lot of the pressure and anxiety you have and then, and only then, you can start to think about the bigger picture…pedegogy.

For me, I realized it  is important that my students know what to expect.  Therefore, I want to set up a section of the course called, “Before you begin.”  For starters, I want an online readiness survey.  I have found 3, 2 pdf’s and 1 online survey.  Of course they were created by another institution, and I will only be borrowing them (and provideing cittation information) for educational purposes.  I hear that online learning has higher attrition than face-to-face courses, and I aim to combat that before the class even gets started by having the studetns assess their own readiness.

Online course readiness surveys



I think that I am going to use all three and make them a requirement that the student has to submit back to me by the..let’s say..third day of class.


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