Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Learning as Individual Development

It must be that I am bent on individual development otherwise why would I spend my time trying to figure out the perfect on-line course - or at least quality on-line course.

My big quibble with on-line courses - mine included - is that it is read this and discuss that.  If only I had access to Blackboard Collaborate so that we could do some synchronous sessions that would move my course forward (at least in my eyes).

I work with instructors in a post-secondary institution and the subject material is evaluation/assessment: that is using evaluation tools properly.  That being said there are no real hard fast rules, in many cases, so it is important to get across the flexibility of the situation and that assessment needs to fit the situation.

I have been teaching this course in a blended format - two full-days face-to-face and the rest on-line.  While I have tweaked the course here and there this last two weeks I have been doing a reorganization job: things are not working out the way I expected.

I will have a course designer assigned to me for a couple of weeks of work next month but the course is running now hence I have been using a technical person to help me cut and paste and then working on it myself (as far as my skills go).

I read through some of the on-line materials recommended in this course and thought it was interesting that videos and quizzes do not improve learning since many of my colleagues think that is the way to go.  Personally I would like to get a handle on what is a "workable workload" it seems to be a term out there but no actual research to quantify. I went through Tony's Bates presentation (and set up a drop box account so that I could see it) and I was happy to note that I understood what he was explaining - perhaps I am getting the hang of on-line learning (although I love the interaction of the classroom).

Personally I appreciate the newsletter in my email to remind me to check what is going on - since life is hectic at the beginning of a semester.  I have also appreciated accessing the reference material and reading about the nine steps.  I hope to get in on the Collaborate Discussions but the time zone doesn't work well for me.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your biggest quibble with online courses. I wouldn't like to learn that way (read and respond to discussion posting). I thought it was interesting that Tony Bates mentioned synchronous and asynchronous interaction. Synchronous interaction was valuable for "presence" in the course and interaction, but did not allow for as deep critical thinking and reflection as asynchronous interaction allowed for (gave students more time to form their responses).

    One suggestion if you don't have access to BB Collaborate is to design your online course so your course is divided into teams. You could have synchronous discussions in Skype. You may not have all the features BB Collaborate does and you can not record the session, but it gives you the synchronous interaction needed in an online course. I use both BB Collaborate and Skype in my course.