Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 3)
Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 3) avatar

I have so many thoughts and questions floating in my head pertaining to online teaching. I have an analytical mind and am still processing some of the information I read from the textbook, saw on the PDF/graphic files and videos I watched.

There is so much information, so many tools are available and yet I still find it difficult to narrow what I need to use for my class. Currently, my (on-campus) class is held twice a week. In an online format, I’d imagine I’d have it set up per week instead of per class. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the videos of other professors’ snapshots of their online classes. It seems like a lot of work to set up at first (as was the class I currently teach which isn’t online but uses blackboard) but if it can be used for other semesters, it seems like a great way to be organized and have many resources available for students. For my own classes, I put many tools on Blackboard–from handouts to videos to “additional resources”. A recurring problem has been finding out that my students do not view/read/use the multiple resources/tools I make available for them. I believe that possibly formatting my class differently might encourage students to check out the various options/resources available to them.

I feel like I put a lot more into my class than I am “required” to. But I really want my students to “get it” so to speak. I hate when students are confused or can’t understand something no matter how many times I teach it or explain it. I think finding the tools that best suits my class will help me best help students learn. I’m still trying to figure what tools, resources, etc I want to use for my class. I’m excited to continue discovering various ways to teach my students online.

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7 Responses to Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 3)
Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 3) avatar

  1. Avatar Renee says:

    “A recurring problem has been finding out that my students do not view/read/use the multiple resources/tools I make available for them”.
    I have similar experience with students not using resources I have posted on Bb. I feel pressure to make these resources/tools into assessed assignments, to ensure that students access these important venues of information.

    • Avatar Prof DeMeo says:

      Same problem here with ressources. I have spent much time narrowing down useful ressources and encouraging them to use them but often find they forget to as it’s not really a part of their grade…

  2. Hi Rachele – Last week I heard Eric Mazur (the Harvard physicist) speak at a conference that I was attending online and as part of his keynote he talked about his students being confused, which is why your blog post has ‘jumped out at me’ 🙂

    In his research he found that confused students are twice as likely to be correct when answering a test question as those who claim not to be confused, that confusion doesn’t correlate with understanding, is not necessarily the result of poor teaching and is part of the learning process – in fact he said an ‘essential’ part of the learning process.

    I thought you might be interested in this given your comment about hating your students being confused.

    I was so fascinated by Eric Mazur’s lecture that I blogged about it if you are interested to know more – http://jennymackness.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-science-of-teaching/

    and I know that some of his lectures are on YouTube. I’d be interested to know what you think.

    Jenny

    • Avatar Jim Stauffer says:

      An instructor I had for several online courses caused me enough confusion that I came to expect it (although not welcome it). In spite of that, she was one from whom I learned the most. She encouraged us to embrace “not knowing”, even sent us a photo of her “I don’t know” tree, a dead cottonwood by the river. In the most recent class, the watchword became “grapple” because we all struggled so hard to figure out what she meant. She was also a wholistic thinker, while most of us students were very linear.

    • Avatar Prof DeMeo says:

      Thank you for sharing!

  3. Hi Rachele,
    Our students also skip the many resources we offer them, seems universal to see it as extra work and unnecessary to “passing” which for many is equal to learning. One of my first jobs here was to find links to compelling content that would connect with the students which was fun but kind of pointless. One strategy I think I’ll try is to beging adding in links to silly things that give the students a break from the course grind. So instead of it being an “assignment” or “useful” (yuck!) it becomes desirable to go online. What I think is our students see the net as a place limited to certain activities that they know like FaceBook or online poker. They are sadly incurious about the unfamiliar and definitely uninterested in boring sites that just repeat course content.

    Have to think about this some more. The basic idea came from a nursing instructor who had me make a practice quiz which I did with nursing questions and she rejected. We made up a funny quiz that demonstrated the the quiz utility hidden behind the humor so no one felt like they’d walked into another “lesson.” It seems like this might indicate that variety helps and we try too hard to be “relevant” in everything we do “in class” and maybe allow some breaks?

    • Avatar Prof DeMeo says:

      Thanks for sharing! I too find that (many) times my students don’t look through the (many) ressources I provide for them. I’m hoping to better organize these ressources or make them more appealing somehow…

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