Adventures of a Technology Challenged Online Instructor

Welcome to the World of Blogging
Welcome to the World of Blogging avatar

I’m not a writer, nor am I a blogger, so I started this online teaching course with a bit of fear (okay – maybe even panic).  But, I know I must adapt and learn all of these amazing new technologies that can bring students and instructors together without having to be in the same classroom, city, or continent for that matter.

I’m Melissa, and I’m an associate faculty member at Mira Costa.  I’ve been teaching the Principles of Health course (both on campus and online) for a few years now.  This course covers the gammut – exercise, nutrition, drug abuse, stress management, sexual health, etc…, etc…

Online teaching just fell into my lap one semester when my full-time faculty member asked me if I wanted to try teaching an online class.  I jumped at the chance, because, although I’m technologically challenged, I do enjoy being online and feel pretty comfortable with “surfing the net.”  At the time, my full-timer just copied her online course into mine and I just went along with exactly how she taught online.  That was two years ago and I really haven’t changed a whole lot about the class since.

I’m wanting to get past all of the “text based” material I have in my online class.  It’s rather boring and I find that, although I require “weekly discussion posts”, I’m not getting the kind of interaction I would like to see between the students and even between myself and the students.   Just last week, I’ve tried using the voice annoucement option in Blackboard & I was so excited to do something different!  I think my biggest obsticle is that I don’t even really know what’s out there, so I’m hoping this course will expose me to all the various tools and things I can use to improve my course.  I’ve found that I really do enjoy teaching online and I want to  improve the experience for both my students and myself!

Okay, now from teaching to a little bit about me….I grew up in Southern California and even attended Mira Costa for a few classes while I was working on my undergraduate degree at UCSD.  I enjoy being able to teach in the community where I grew up and still currently live.  I see my students at the park, the beach, the grocery store, and restaurants & I really do enjoy having that connection to the community.  I also have two elementary-school aged daughters, so when I’m not working I’m volunteering in their classrooms or leading Girl Scout meetings!

I’m looking forward to learning a lot from this group!


10 Responses to “Welcome to the World of Blogging
Welcome to the World of Blogging avatar

  1. Jim Sullivan says:

    I too often feel technologically challenged–and I have been using online teaching tools in online and onsite courses for ten years! I was intrigued about your comment about wanting to see what’s out there. That is one thing that I think this program does a particularly good job of–exposing all of us to what is going on “out there.”

    Thanks for sharing your cool ideas…

  2. Hello Melissa,

    It is great, and it is very interesting, you are an online teacher learning about teaching online, because you could share with us, those who are not teachers like me, and I am sure it will be a very fast way of learning.

    See you online.

  3. Pili says:

    Hi Melissa,
    You’re definitely in the right place. This class will certainly provide good examples and give you the opportunity to play with a wide variety of ways to repackage your course materials so that they are not so text based. Repackaging takes a lot of time, but it’s also fun and so rewarding when it inspires students and they start emailing to thank you for making the experience so engaging and fun for them.

  4. Welcome Melissa! Nice to “meet” you!

  5. Lisa M Lane says:

    I have news for you, Melissa – you are a writer, and a good one. That doesn’t mean students are readers, though, and several of us (Pilar especially) have great experiences with audio. Welcome!

  6. Great idea to move beyond text-based materials for online teaching! There are a lot of great resources for teaching with voice and video on the web. Have you seen Voice Thread? Todd posted about it on the Facebook group — it seems like a really amazing tool to get students to collaborate.

  7. Laura Paciorek says:

    Hi, Melissa: I think your reasons for being in this program are great! I hope that you get a lot of ideas. It is great meeting you.

  8. Hocke says:

    Hi Melissa! Welcome to the class! I agree, It’s quite a ride we have in front of us. It’ll be fun! C ya!

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  10. cheers for the advice it really helped