Teaching a course? Take a course!

One of the most common questions we receive from faculty in UAF eLearning iTeach workshops is
“what does an online course look like”? We all have years – and in some cases decades – of practice forming expectations of face-to-face learning experiences, but for those who are new to teaching online, it is often difficult to imagine how it all works. Learning experiences are complicated. Even if you’re a veteran online instructor, it can be helpful to take a look at what others are doing in their online courses. No matter where you’re at, touring a few courses can be a very important step toward building your fluency with the medium of online instruction.

Test early, test often, and always cumulative

There are powerful alternatives to final exams including final projects and final presentations, but if you’re set on giving a final exam, consider making it comprehensive. Further, consider frequent cumulative benchmark quizzes as part of your students’ practice regimen.

When it comes to marathon running, it has often been said that the race is really about the last few miles. “I ran great for the first 18 miles, but my time really fell off toward the finish.” No. The race IS the last few miles. The marathon is a long challenge requiring deep and substantial practice in order to attain mastery. So it can be with our designed learning experiences.

Blackboard – time to reconsider

This time of year we’re all spending a lot of time in Blackboard, yet seldom does one hear its praises sung within our hallowed halls. It may not be the shiniest tool in our toolbox, and some might even say its menus and structures are less than an inspiring home for the learning and cognitive transformations we expect it to facilitate.

Online education part – 1

One of the most common questions I hear is, “how much time is it going to take to develop my online course?” This question reminds me of similar questions such as, “How long does it take to build a house?” and “How long does it take to make dinner?” The answers to these, of course, are, “it depends.”