From our readings – I was most focused on the part about, “Timing and Pacing of course”. In my recent HS Leadership course, since it is a new design, it is blended and it has LOTS of new to online learning learners in it….I decided to open the whole course. This went against my usual design “habit” of opening one module at a time.
Why did I do it? For a few reasons.
1) The synchronous part of the course is only 2 weeks, then they will go off and complete a project. So I was not totally overwhelming them with content – only “kind of” overwhelming them.
2) The flipped educator in me wanted students to have an opportunity to see the “whole” picture. I want the students to feel comfortable in their online environment, so I thought it only fair to set them up with as much information when they want it.
3) Since it is a new design, it is blended and it has LOTS of “new to online learning” learners in it, I wanted them to see as much as possible in the limited time we do have together online.
Since this course will end after the synchronous 2 weeks, I will be able to write some more about my “timing” design decision later.
The second thing that really jumped out at me from our “resources” was from Lisa’s blog post:
4. Online teaching is its own discipline, and we need to study it.
It’s not just a “method of delivery” or a “format” — it’s its own field, with a whole community of practitioners in K-12, college, training and consulting. It pays to be in touch with people who know the latest trends. Entire careers are being built by people who know nothing about teaching, but get advanced degrees researching it so they can get jobs and tell you what to do. Not knowing the jargon or the research, and being able to critique it, could mean less autonomy in your own work. From Lisa’s Blog
This excerpt really jumped out at me, because I don’t think I had really thought about online learning – teaching it – as a specialization. It is! I have “inadvertently” become a specialist in open learning, especially k12 and High School, and you are absolutely correct. The “way” to study and specialize is to engage and connect with others who are doing amazing things – so you can bring it back to your own learning environments. Although I have some masters levels courses to support online learning, I specialized through experiential learning opportunities.
So- I guess I have commented on how I have integrated the “timing” idea into my new course as well as on the importance of validating the online learning experience.