Sunday, November 18, 2007

CIT 2007 - Moving From FaceTo Face To Online Teaching

This presentation focussed on helping educators transition from traditional face to face (F2F) teaching to online teaching. The first big question asked was "How do you transmit passion online?", along with the following:
  • What do you teach?
  • How doe you teach?
  • Who do you teach?
Online learning is different. It is:
  • Active
  • Self-initiated
  • Self-disciplined
  • Results-oriented
Benefits of Online Learning (OLL) - this diagramme highlights some of the benefits of online learning:

Developing an online course requires more than just taking what has been done in a classroom and posting it on line. first recommendation is to consult an instructional designer who is experienced in online course development. Some of the things to consider when translating a course to online include:
  • Develop a big picture of content
  • Organize like a set of ladders
  • Course is not a glob - create units/modules (the term used during the prsentation was "course cartridge" - a new term for me)
  • Course map - keep it clean and simple
  • Concerns - layout, discussion boards, assessment, and copyright
  • Takes more time to develop an OLL course than a F2F course
  • For copyright issues consult librarians and instructional designers
Once the course is developed it must be managed. Major concerns for OLL course management include:
  • Syllabus
  • FAQs
  • Schedule/calendar (layout in advance)
  • Rules/guidelines/netiquette
  • Office hours
  • Just for fun discussions (an important engagement piece in my opinion - adds a "face" to the course - keeps learners around the site)
  • Don't be a lone ranger - get help in developing and managing OLL courses, and don't do everything at once
  • Be reasonable as you go - add and subtract resources when they are relevant
  • Get organized - have a plan - build the course - development and delivery
  • Be flexible
This was a very good, commonsense approach presentation on transitioning from the classroom to OLL, something that all of us will have to do as educators. So much more of what we will be doing in the future will be blened or online that we have to become proficient in the development, delivery and management of online courses.

I believe that the best way to do that is to develop all curriculum in a 'delivery agnostic" approach where we focus n outcomes, and competencies and not on how the course will be delivered. If we do it right, the delivery method should not matter...


Benjamin Boudreau said...

Any thoughts on teaching in Second Life? In my opinion, it seems to have fizzled out - at least in the communications field - after a lot of its major supporters backed out. That being said, I haven't checked in to see if universities like Harvard are still attempting to establish their virtual campuses.

Having taken 25% of a course through the virtual reality, I can say the learning curve was a little too steep for both educators AND students. However, are educators still seeing potential in it as a classroom platform?

Ian H. MacLeod said...

Still a large established base of educational institutions in Second Life doing some cool educational stuff. Most major US universities have a prsence of some shape or others and more and more community colleges are also in world.

I see potential in Second Life as an educational platform, but not a classroom platform - it provides learning opportunities beyond the walls of a classroom. Check out sims in Second life like Virtual Hallucinations, and the Info Islands/Edu Islands complexes to see what's happening...