Here’s that new semester, the fall renewal, even though it’s still pretty hot outside. We are all excited about starting up again, before the complexity of courses, grading, student conferences, and committee work start to fill up all those moments we had planned to learn about new innovations in teaching and learning. Some of us have new ideas we’d like to try out in the classroom, whether on ground or online, and hope to keep up our excitement long enough to put the ideas in motion.
Pardon a personal note: I’ve been reading about online teaching, since I’ll be teaching online for the first time, reading about translating face-to-face practices into online experiences, all the while trying to keep three areas in mind–student/content interaction, student/faculty interaction, and student/student interaction. That doesn’t seem like a difficult organizational plan, until you start to fill in the blanks. Assignments and due dates are easy enough, but creating experiences that engage students as they work through those assignments is the hard part. All of a sudden I feel like an orchestra conductor waiting for the sheet music, and discover that I am the composer, too. I know that if I feel overwhelmed, students may have the same reaction, so my first order of business has been to retreat from displaying all the content of the semester at once. In a f2f course, I would never hand out all the assignments on day one, so why would I try to make them all available on our LMS? I’m giving myself permission to slow down and judge how the course is going in the first few weeks, leaving room for adjustment. I’m sure it would be nice to have the whole course and its content created on day one and just turn it on, but for this first time around, I need to test the waters a little. I’ll be busy in the evenings and on weekends.
Here are a few of the things I’ve been reading online:
Instructional Design for Online Learning: http://www.ibritt.com/resources/dc_instructionaldesign.htm
Getting Started Online: http://vfc.project.mnscu.edu/index.asp
Principles of Online Design: http://www.fgcu.edu/onlinedesign/index.html
Instructional Design Handbook: http://www.psuonline.pdx.edu/docs/id_handbook.htm
Guidelines for Teaching an Online Course: http://tltc.findlay.edu/onlinesupport/Guidelines/index.html
Teaching Strategies: Online Teaching: http://www.crlt.umich.edu/tstrategies/tsot.php
Send me your favorites to post, whether about online teaching or not.