I am looking for the third thing. It’s the transition quest. Going online and looking for your on-the-ground class is a fool’s errand. Leaving behind everything that worked face-to-face is foolish. So — the third thing. It’s not a marriage or an offspring or an evolution. In my experience teaching online, it’s something that hasn’t yet been built.
My ideas are still steeping. However, I want to develop a classroom online that has qualities like a one-click environment, which is one where a single click will take a student where he or she needs to go; a human environment, which is one where students can see and hear the human in their peers and professor (This would require better integration of audio and video.); and an all-inclusive environment, which is one that does not limit participation or create unnecessary hierarchies of learning through the overuse of fixed synchronous participation. My course currently is, and for the near-future will remain, a module-based course. The emphasis in my course will be reading, research, and writing, so tools that facilitate development of these skills will be prominent, like forums that allow discussion of the reading and collaboration through writing workshops. I would hope, if well built, students will want to be present and that they will be able to present.