Slightly behind

It looks like I somehow missed the “build your website” part of week three – bummer. Now we’re almost at the end of week four. I was a bit under the weather, but am going to play catch up. I got this! lol.


Course Design and Development

After reading Ko + Rossen, Chickering and Ehrmann, completing the questionnaire and looking at the getting started chart, I have determined the following:

I scored a 14 on the questionnaire, which means I lean slightly more toward presentation of material rather than interactivity. This surprised me a bit, but after further consideration of the questions and answers I realized this score was fairly accurate.

If I were to build my own online class from scratch in the future, I would probably offer both a video recording of my lecture each week as well as a text document of it to appeal to two types of learners. I would include a discussion forum for students to respond to questions I have posted, and make an area available for them to post questions unrelated to the texts. I would make use of You Tube videos to help the students better grasp the concepts. For example, if I required my students to read Othello I would include a You Tube video of a scene from the film so they could see how the a traditional performance of the material and another video of the Othello rap from William Shakespeare Abridged so they could see a satirical and modern take on this classic text. I think this combination of activities would be a nice mixture of both presentation and interactivity – but still leans a bit more toward presentation. Hence, the score was fairly accurate :0)

My goals for this future class would be that the students not only grasp the concepts of writing an essay and learning to questions texts, but also see how those skills can be applied in the real world. I feel that by providing them with multiple examples of this happening, it would help them to see the larger picture and beyond just their assignments for the course.

I am big on organization too – so my courses would be organized according to week. That way their lecture, videos and discussion board links would all be there for each week, rather than spearated out according to type of technology.

I have no idea if this is any good…lol.

Rubrics for Online Instruction

This week I decided to go online and take a look at the various rubrics that were discussed in the textbook. I’m a big fan of rubrics (they speak to the organized star student in me) and I was curious to see if the approaches were any different coming from separate sources. I examined three online course rubrics this week and these were my findings in order of least favorite to favorite:

The Illinois Quality Online Course Initiative also uses six categories, but I was unable to find the “checklists” referred to in the textbook that actually broke down specific requirements of each category – like CSU Chico had made so easily accessible. I agree with these six categories as well, and would love to find those checklists.

The Rubric for Online Teaching at CSU Chico is straightforward and easy to navigate. There are six categories to evaluate your own course, or another course, with. By clicking on any category the corresponding rubric will come up with three different levels of proficiency (my word) – “baseline,” “effective”, and “exemplary.” I like these levels of evaluation because it gives the instructor some idea of what merely acceptable looks like versus something really outstanding. I can see the value in this for both online teaching newcomers and seasoned online instructors alike. I also agree with the six categories because I feel as if they are the most salient of the features I would choose myself if I were creating a rubric. Now, do I know much about this yet? No! But, in my humble, not yet educated opinion, this one is user-friendly and appears to be generated from people who know what they’re talking about.

The Quality Online Course Standards developed by the North American Council for Online Learning were incredible. I found this rubric to be very detailed and thorough. I think one could learn a lot about what makes up a successful online course simply by reading the rubric. Actually, I should say that for any good rubric, obviously, but this one was even more in-depth than CSU Chico’s was. It actually employs twelve categories and a breakdown of each of those. It is a .pdf file and I not only bookmarked it, but printed it.

Overall, I really didn’t know there were rubrics out there for instructional design of online courses. If I had given it any thought, I suppose it would have occurred to me that it would be logical to have them, but prior to this week’s readings I had not given it any thought. I really found these to be informative and something practical I would like to refer to when designing a course.



Course Flipping

Delaney Kirk’s blog impressed me. Not only is the presentation something I could get into (very well organized), but I found myself reading multiple articles on course flipping as well. I had not heard of course flipping before, but the idea of it sounds so intriguing. One of the articles mentioned that some instructors may feel reluctant to try it because the “void” in class might be intimidating. I can’t imagine myself having a void, so perhaps that intimidation is not there for that reason. It just sounds exciting. This idea of course flipping made me re-think the entire idea of how a F2F course could be influenced and crafted by technology.

I’m curious to know if anyone else started clicking through the course flipping articles or if anyone actually is a “flipped instructor”?


Reaction to Couros lecture

I was really engaged by Alec Couros and his presenttion in general. A few points that stodd out the most were:

  • First, when he said his first computer was an Apple 2c and he used Printshop to become a “publisher” I laughed and laughed. My first computer was also an Apple 2c and I actually started a children’s magazine for my local elementary school using PrintShop. It was so much fun and to be honest, I had forgotten that entirely until he started describing his childhood! Good memories.
  • The idea of being a “digital resident” versus a “digital visitor” was a good comparison that I think helped me really click with how I am different than my students. I teach Freshmen and they are, at least the majority, a generation of “digital residents.” I am not and even after this class, probably will not be 🙂 I enjoy being online and sharing online, but only to a limited degree. I am fairly private and grew up in a home where I was taught to vigilant of my surroundings. I cannot help but bring that vigilance into my online persona, and this helps to construct the way in which I allow myself to be accessed by others. I am anxious to see how I will grow as a teacher and an individual after this course and perhaps see if that guarded vigilance lessens at all and allows me to fully participate/enjoy all the social media has to offer.
  • I’m currently teaching Frederick Douglass and Malcom X and although my students are at times very interested in their writing, they also struggle at other times to connect to these voices from long ago. I felt like Couros gave me a new way into those types of texts today that I have not been using. He talked about “participatory media” and now “everyone has a voice.” I can see real connections between those voices from long ago who did not have a voice, or had a limited voice, and the people today who DO have a voice. How has the world changed? How has the ability to express been made available? What would Frederick Douglass’s Facebook page look like??
  • Finally, I appreciated his emphasis of networking and how this online networking so many people engage in now is different only by technique. We have always networked. It does not define our communities and citizenship, as he said, it redefines it.

I loved this presentation and am considering showing parts of it to students at a later juncture because I feel it may give them the view from my generation as well – a world pre-media!





Google Reader Rocks!

So, I’ve just set up my Google Reader and subscribed to BBC and North County Times feeds. I can imagine this becoming a real addiciton and immediately see the benefit of having a reader. I feel silly that I did not know about these before this class, but I remind myself that I’m taking this course TO learn about those things I do not know about!

I’m jazzed coming into week two and anxious to soak up some more info. I’m not sure all of it is exactly easy yet, but I’m taking a lot of notes.