In viewing a presentation this week on my “workation” (my attempt to work and go to Florida for a vacation), I found a quote in partricular that peaked my interest. “A book is not a play, a play is not a movie. The movie version may impart much of the same information, but the design and delivery are different.” (Riedinger) By putting together my “workation”, it was a great way for me to reexamine how to design my online course.
Riedinger mentions Bill Pelz’s Three Principles.
“1. Let the students do (most of) the work.”
“2. Interactivity is the heart and soul of effective asyncronous learning”
“3. Strive for presence.”
It became extremely difficult for me to let go of “right and wrong” answers and to create a sense of community at the same time. However, by creating an experience in my personal life where I was able to extend my vacation to 9 days of which 2 I spent working vs taking a 4 day vacation, I enabled myself to see better about what I was doing wrong in designing my course.
In looking at Pelz’s three thoughts above, I realized that I can create assignments that may look like discussions, but in order to make them effective I need to outline the guidelines better. Likewise by making the course as interactive as possible using some of the advanced discussion tools, I was able to replicate some of the same results I expect to get in a F2F class in an online format.
To relate this back to my learnings from my vacation, I realized that I may get the same results from working in a different environment but with a different set of rules. Being remote, I didn’t have the access to my office for some books and references I am used to having. It made me realize that I can’t expect my students to have the same type of discussions we’d have in class if they were all in different locations.
And now, on to answering some of the questions for the week…
“After conducting your own course review of your own online course, where are you in terms of completion of your online course? How are you doing?”
I’m satisfied with the overall design of my course, and after receiving some very timely and effective feedback, I realized I needed to re-approach the discussion parameters and discussions themselves that I had initially designed. It was clear to me after further review that I needed to make the discussions more interactive, or make them into written assignments
“What do you need to complete your online course? What have you learned so far about yourself during this process?”
I need to give my course another fresh look now that I have changed some of the assignments and discussions to be more interactive. I’ve learned that I need to complete assignments like this early in the future (like I did this time), as it has enabled me to get feedback before the assignment was completed so I can make further changes.
“What has been the most surprising thing you have learned so far?”
The most suprising thing that I have learned so far is that there are so many different ways to get what may be the same results in a course. I’ve found that I can get much more vibrant discussions by leaving more up to the students, something that in the past I may have neglected in my F2F courses. It is clear to me that I can apply many of the methods from my online teaching experience to my F2F discussions as well, something that will help me structure all of my courses better.
“What thoughts do you have about moving from theory (social, cognitive and teaching presence) to practice (building it into your online course)?”
From theory to practice makes all of this semester that much more relavant to me. The most telling part of my experience for this course has to come up with answers to the same question more that once. For example, I have come up with some initial answers this week to the blog discussion questions, and I plan on relooking at the answers I came up with this week and reflect further in my next blog post
Bonnie Riedinger, ETDL Director, Manchester Community College. Training Brick and Mortar Supervisors to Effectively Evaluate Online Course and Training. Retrieved 7/29/2008 from net.educause.edu/ir/library/powerpoint/NCP08036.pps