I want to tell you a story….it starts like this: Once upon a time there was…
LIS 401 is an undergraduate survey of children’s literature course offered every year by the SLIS at the University of Alberta. It has been taught by various people over the years and in Fall 2009, I was asked to take it over. It was a face-to-face course that was taught in a fairly traditional way. Weekly lectures, readings, big group discussions about the books, written assignments (papers) and a final exam. Generally the course had about 25-30 students per term register.
Fall 2009…I taught the course much the way it had been taught in the past. I followed a similar course schedule and structure. I substituted some of my favourite children’s books into the syllabus. Most classes began with a brief introductory lecture which often included some multimedia elements.
Every class we broke into small groups to discuss that day’s books. I structured this part of the class similarly to literature circles that are used in elementary and high schools. Each group was given a framework (Aidan Chambers’ Critical Blueprint) to guide their discussions.
I created a wiki for the class as a place to ‘park’ resources about each book, as well as handouts, assignment information, and other resources about children’s literature generally. Students were not required to contribute to the wiki, although some did.
Assignments continued to be fairly traditional, although I did change up the assignment slightly from previous years. I removed the exam and added a Trailfire assignment, for example.
Then, late in the fall 2009, as the course was coming to an end, we discovered that my husband’s long awaited transfer from Edmonton to Montreal was going to become a reality. When I was asked to teach LIS 401 again in the fall, 2010 term, the only way I could accept was if it was turned into an online course.
This move from a face-to-face course to an online course required a lot of planning, thought, and time. It felt like I had a million little pieces that needed to be put together into a cohesive whole. Some things that I knew or understood as I was in this planning stage: -students who would enroll in LIS 401 would almost all be education students -many of them would have little or no background in the subject (children’s literature) and many would have little or no experience or confidence with technology or online learniing -for many of the students who would enrol in this course, it would be their first online course (and perhaps the only exposure they would have for online learning) -I decided to focus on 5 things as I made this move to teaching LIS 401 in an online environment -Community -Content -Discussion -Assignments -Resources
Reflection—What worked and what didn’t? Student reactions
Going Virtual: How a Children's Literature Course Moved Online Joanne de Groot Canadian eLearning Conference Halifax, Nova Scotia April 27, 2011
Image: ' final exam ' http://www.flickr.com/photos/34017702@N00/74907741
Image: ' Student in Class ' http://www.flickr.com/photos/28035080@N04/3618969705
Image: ' Group Discussion ' http://www.flickr.com/photos/89165847@N00/5248075297
<ul><li>Dr. Joanne de Groot </li></ul><ul><li>Adjunct Assistant Professor </li></ul><ul><li>University of Alberta </li></ul><ul><li>Email: firstname.lastname@example.org </li></ul>Image: ' Thank You! ' http://www.flickr.com/photos/37183619@N00/1574355646
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