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Taking an online course


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Experience of taking on online course from Online School for Girls. Course was "How to Teach an Online Course."

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Taking an online course

  1. 1. Taking an Online Course A Personal Perspective Joel Backon January 11, 2012 1
  2. 2. The Course Welcome Page 2
  3. 3. Pre-course Survey 3
  4. 4. The Course Welcome Video 4
  5. 5. Week One Overview 5
  6. 6. Introduce Yourself 6
  7. 7. Introductions 7
  8. 8. Threaded Discussion 8
  9. 9. Transitions 9
  10. 10. Mapping a Course 10
  11. 11. My Course Map 11
  12. 12. VoiceThread Assignment 12
  13. 13. The Online Learning ProcessIntroduce the tools through tutorial.Assign the project as a deliverable.Provide rapid feedback. 13
  14. 14. Tutorials 14
  15. 15. The Project 15
  16. 16. Feedback 16
  17. 17. Final Project: Creating a UnitIn creating lessons for your students, there are several questions that you need to consider.How much material will you include in a typical unit?On one hand, if your units or assignments are spaced too closely, you lose some of the advantages of the flexibility of online courses. Spaceassignments too far apart, and students may put off work until the last minute and have to great a volume of material to cover. In my experience,breaking down a syllabus into topics that cover approximately the equivalent of one or two week of a face-to-face class seems to work the best. In thesample unit I have included in the sub-pages below, I have shown you what a one week unit of my OSG Genetics course looks like.Exactly HOW much material is appropriate for one unit?One of the most surprising things to me, as I started teaching online courses, is that an online lecture is generally shorter than the equivalent F2Fclass. In general I have found that the material that I would cover in a 40 minute period in my classes, could be covered in a 20 minute onlinevoicethread lecture. In fact in my courses I call my voicethreads "mini-lectures" to put students initially at ease in watching lectures online. Forexample, in my sample unit, you will see that I have three mini-lectures of material. These will take students approximately 90 minutes to watch andtake notes. The remaining time during the week is spent doing reading assignments, practice problems, discussion posts, working with partners on aproject, and completing a weekly assessment. It is important to keep in mind the time spent on all of the various things you are asking your studentsto do in a week.What different kinds of assignments and assessments have you included in a unit?Just as it is a good idea to include multiple modalities and learning styles in a face-to-face course, you should consider varying the types ofassignments and presentation media within your course. But be careful to also consider consistency. If everything the students see is different, yourcourse may lose coherency. This link, from the Illinois Online Network, contains some great lesson and activity ideas specifically designed for onlinecourses.What is your style/layout?It can take some time to find a layout and style that works for you. By creating a consistent layout, your students will know what to expect from eachlesson and unit, and will know where to find the materials that they need. For example, you can see in my sample pages, that I order the pages of aunit by topic. Then within each page, students will follow the content chronologically down a page, doing each assignment in order. Other teachersmay place all information of content in one column, and then all assignments in another column. Whatever style you choose, consistency from weekto week is key. 17
  18. 18. Final Project 1 18
  19. 19. My Final Project 21.View the three videos on the right. They are from the National Geographic documentary, Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. The running time for the three videos will be about 25:00.2.You will want to pause the video at times so you can answer the following questions in your personal journal on the right:- Yalis Question: "Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but weblack people had little cargo of our own?"- Why did some civilizations turn to sedentary food production and abandon their hunter-gatherer roots?- According to Diamond, what are the critical factors that led to food production and domestic societies?3. When you have finished viewing the video and answering the questions in your personal journal, create athoughtful, one paragraph post in the class blog answering the following: What is the fundamental differencebetween the Landes and Diamond theories of economic inequality, and how do both theories benefit the West? 19
  20. 20. Take Aways 20
  21. 21. Sample Lessons 21
  22. 22. Brad Rathgeber Director Online School for Girls 22