Thursday, May 20, 2010

Soem thoughts on partial on-line teaching...

I'm rather new to teaching on-line, at all... even partially on-line.

About a year ago I was figuring out how our on-line course management system works... yea, I'm slow.

In that year, I've picked up many good bits of advice from the internets ---so, thanks!

A few of them are:
  • In the discussion section, make a "class talk" section, so they can ask class questions and they often answer themselves.
  • Using the on-line grade book is helpful because it cuts down on the "what's my grade" questions... leaving only the KFAP (kids from another planet), who probably need to talk to you face to face anyway.
  • They will have good discussions without me.
  • Include your make-up period in the on-line testing period -- and try to give a class period for them to take exams. My CC students are often very tightly scheduled, so if they can use the time they'd otherwise drive to school, go to class etc.. to take the on-line exam, they will -- AND, probably most important, you can deflect the "I didn't have time to do the exam" excuse.
  • The "course copy" function is wonderful -- I love it.
  • Make friends with the instructional design / faculty tech support people. I'm really lucky to have two of them looking out for me -- and solving my vexing issues.
Some things I'm starting this summer --
  • Content quizzes. After every subject they'll take a quiz on class content. This is in addition to the short reading quizzes they have before every new discussion/ reading assignment. Some of these content quizzes are essays (gasp), so I'll have to keep up with them.. but, they are quick to grade so it shouldn't be all that bad.
  • Small, randomly selected, discussion groups. Each group posts on the same topic every week, then a discussant from that group synthesizes and posts the results for the whole class to see.
If they work, I'll keep doing them for the fall -- although, I'm going to think carefully about the stuff I have to grade... I'll have 150 students in three sections...

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