Week 19: Online, Hybrid, MOOC’s….Oh my!
I’m still plugging away at completing these last few weeks of the POT course. I’m finally moved into the new house, but most of my material is still packed away in a box someplace – so my post is “low-tech” today.
First off, I have to say that I just completed my first online course as a student….Traffic School! I definitely experienced some of the frustrations our students must have when dealing with unfamiliar technology. Videos that wouldn’t upload, quizzes that were incorrectly scored, page after page of extremely borning text-only material. Being a student in an online course gave me a new appreciation for my students and the issues they may have when starting a new course!
So, I have taught both fully online courses and completely face-to-face courses, but have never attempted a hybrid class before. I know many instructors are doing hybrid classes with great success, and I think it would be very interesting to combine both the face-to-face and online worlds into one course.
Something that caught my eye in reading Chapter 13 of Ko and Rosen’s book this week was the quote, “Making the use of the internet optional rather than incorporating it into the curriculum dooms it to failure.” I provide a Blackboard site for my face-to-face students where they can view lecture slides, videos, and submit their assignments (I would say 95% of my face-to-face students do submit their work online). However, I do make it optional & now I’m beginning to question that.
I was under the impression that if we were teaching a face-to-face course that we could NOT require students to participate in online activities outside of class. I guess a couple of my assignments do require students to use certain websites to access information, but for some reason, I thought we couldn’t require face-to-face students to use Blackboard or other Course Management Systems. (Something about students taking face-to-face courses because they need/want the instructor interaction or may not have computer access outside of school.) Am I mistaken here? I really hope that I am becuase I would like to explore more online options for my face-to-face students.
Has anyone used a Facebook page for a class and had success with that? I am seriously contemplating how to include a class Facebook page in the Fall. There are so many current events and news articles surround health topics, that I think Facebook would be a natural choice to share these articles and have students comment on them. However, if we aren’t supposed to make online activities optional, I’m not sure how I could monitor and grade participation on a site like Facebook.
I’m also confused about the implementation of MOOC’s in higher education. In theory, MOOC’s sound fantastic – free classes to anyone who wants to particpate… where do I sign up?! However, how in the world are assessments given to thousands of students at a time? I could see MOOC’s being used for a seminar or just for people interested in learning about a given topic, but I don’t understand how they could possibly used in a setting where students must be evalutated for their work and obtain a grade for the course. I sure know I wouldn’t want to be grading thousands of students at a time!
I guess I have more questions than answers this week! Hoping some of you are still viewing these posts and I can get some insight on what everyone else is doing/trying in both their face-to-face and online courses!