One thing I liked about the CourseSites MOOC “Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success,” generally referred to as the Bonk Open Course, after the instructor Dr. Curtis Bonk, was the way coursework was given in terms of options. In any given week, I could choose to blog or participate in the discussion board; I could attend a live meeting or view the recording. Readings were not an option, but sometimes there were lectures instead of readings. I liked being able to pick what I wanted to do to fulfill the course requirements, but I also sometimes did it all.
Truth be told, I do not give my own online students options, and now I’m wondering how that might work out. If the class is small (25 or fewer), wouldn’t there be a de facto separation into groups whose work is not shared with the entire class? If 10 students decided to blog and the rest wrote in the discussion board, there might be some missing connections between great ideas. I suppose I could make reading in both areas mandatory. Hmm. I like the idea of options, but it still needs more work.