Exploring Possibilities
Exploring Possibilities avatar

Because I have not yet created an online course, this participation in WWM has so far been awesome. I thought migrating my curricula into an online platform (am I using that term correctly?) would be relatively easy, but now I realize, because of the incredibly vast gamut of useful tools and options available, creating a course will be challenging in the best and most exciting way. I am so impressed with my colleagues’ knowledge (and writing!) displayed in these posts and am honored to be in this community.

Curry’s Video

Great questions, great topics and Who is John Galt?

Other LMS I have used include Blackboard, and because I have worked as a tutor outside of MCCnworking with students taking online classes (mostly high school), I have seen a few other systems. I have worked in Brigham Young Online (I don’t know what LMS was used), and have taught using APEX Learning Online. What I recall mostly from both systems is lots of multiple choice and short answer questions. These systems presented information in units using various delivery systems (podcast, text with links), quizzes using the aforementioned methods, rinse, and repeat. I liked the predictability and organization though overall the course material, because of the lack of community and interaction, was forgettable. These programs were quite rigorous, perhaps even more so than some college courses: lots and lots of assigned texts, tests, and written assignments.

The tools I foresee using are

  • podcast- I see Curry’s videos are created using Screencast-o-matic. Even though I am averse to seeing my face on video, I think some students may be curious and feel more connected to the course.  I might use WedCam and fireside video from my living room. I may even throw in some live music (that’s always happening at my house).
  • Simply Text with concise lecture/instructional information- using Pages I suppose
  • Hypothesis (I just added the app to my Eng 100 Canvas: I clicked on the link from Curry’s bibliography- will be looking through others from that list- I like this app’s capability of notating web pages and sharing those same pages with others to comment collaboratively. I haven’t used it yet but will work through it) 
  • Google slide presentations, though I may explore Prezi. I already have several GS presentations that I use in the classroom
  • Comment function on Google Docs (does that go without saying?)
  • Links to music: youtube, Spotify? I use music a lot in my classes.
  • Blog for sure
  • Turnitin for essay submission
  • Email of course
  • YouTube
  • Links to full-length films (Films on Demand, Kanopy)
  • Virtual tours through museums or beautiful (or not so beautiful) places in the world
  • An app for students to upload videos that they have created (screencast-o-matic, Arc?)
  • Screen time office hours and conferences (?) Perhaps through messaging? I’d like to know what other instructors do for online conferencing

I still have to explore using Modules and tools for creating groups. I currently do not use those features in my onsite class Canvas.

While browsing through apps via Canvas, I saw many e-graders, so my idea here is likely not new but here goes anyhoo. If I were to invent my own tool (as per the question posed for this week), it would some variation of an interactive e-grader (?) that includes friendly comments and editing recommendations that are more intimate and precise than ones that are currently available and can read and evaluate an essay in real time along with the student, stopping and commenting (in real time) when there are editing issues.

Chapter 3/Warnock

Guideline 9: comforting. Though I consider myself technologically adept, I don’t want to feel pressured into including the bells and whistles referenced in Warnock. When I have taken and worked with students who are taking online classes, I get a bit flustered with complicated instructions and too many links. I also find too many images to be overwhelming. And I will likely not use graphic novel-structured pages as impressive as they are. I plan on creating a simple launch page with a link for each week and then I will plan the rest from there.

Two additional points from Warnock:

Second Life sounds interesting and I will definitely explore the possibilities with virtual worlds. Because literature is largely about story-telling, I can foresee creating imaginary worlds from stories we study might be very exciting even if, no doubt, challenging.

Lastly, Warnock’s advice about flexibility is well taken. Computers…sheesh.