Tuesday, December 7, 2010

OLLIE Courses This Spring

We are offering 3 OLLIE courses this spring:

Technology for Online Instruction (2 credits, 1/10-2/14) 
Course Description: With the demand for online instruction rising, both in K-12 and for professional development, instructors need support in understanding the available tools and their appropriate pedagogical use.

This course will help teachers feel comfortable using Moodle for a host of different purposes, including online courses, hybrid courses, web portals, and online communities. Participants will develop content in the Moodle platform, including activities, forums, lessons, and assessments. Skills and concepts will be analyzed in context of the Iowa Online Teaching Standards and Online Course Standards. The course is delivered online, in an asynchronous delivery (participants work at their own time and place).

Instructional Design (2 credits, 2/21-4/03)
Course Description: Clayton Christensen, in his book Disrupting Class, boldly predicts that half of 9-12 instruction will be online by 2019. For educators, this means re-learning the principles of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, otherwise known in e-learning as instructional design.

This course introduces educators to the core principles of online instructional design. Participants will experience and discuss how to create student outcomes, assessments, and lessons for an online asynchronous format. They also will have exposure to existing online technologies, including web 2.0 tools, as well as online resources and repositories. Participants will create 2 instructional units, with lessons and assessments, and will practice their understanding with work in small groups. All content and activities created by participants will be able to be used after class is completed.

Online Facilitation (2 credits, 4/11-5/15)
Course Description: Teaching online is not the same as teaching face-to-face. There are many differences between the two, and a quality online instructor will understand strategies that they use in an online format.

This course gives instructors an understanding of the important differences to teaching online. The course pays particular attention to the biggest challenges that beginning teachers face, such as how often to provide response to students, how to overcome the barrier of no face-to-face communication, and how to ensure academic integrity. And most importantly, this course focuses on the current research and best practices in establishing an online community among students.

Click on the corresponding link for each course to register.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Danger of Online Teacher Overcompensation

Re-read the overview of Rena Palloff's and Keith Pratt's "Building Online Learning Communities" in preparation for a course I'm teaching.  Really struck by the following quote:

"Many teachers feel that the online classroom is simply not as robust or rigorous and not worthy of consideration, a belief that has caused those of us who teach online to overcompensate and create classes so full of content and activities that sometimes our students simply cannot keep up."

Hmmm... very true.  It's the same as when you are 16, and your parents hesitantly give you the car keys, assuming the worst.  And you drive the speed limit and signal a full 10 seconds before changing lanes, and keep more than proper following distance, all in the efforts to prove yourself a safe driver.

This having to prove yourself ends up having a detrimental effect on the student and the effectiveness of the course, and becomes just as much an issue as the lack of robustness in the first place.