Monday, December 10, 2007
Monday morning catch-up
My apologies for being quiet and not checking in sooner. I am in the middle of an online training course. I will be teaching college writing classes online, so I have to take the college's online teacher training certification. The class is intensive and takes both time and attention. However. I won't be teaching full time and will still be able to keep up with this class. Besides, it will be interesting to share what the other classes are doing and compare notes.
For now, you might enjoy reading about my being a student with homework - weekly assignments to write and post in the online classroom. In addition to assigned reading and 4-5 written assignments each week, I also have post "substantive" replies to other students' posts. As you already know, that is how class discussion works in an online class.
There are no "lectures." Instead, we have readings. All study materials and readings are available on the college web site - the OLS or Online Learning System, which also includes library, a writing center, online tutorials, forums, email and more. Answers to discussion questions need to be at least 200 words, which is also what we will expect from students in our classes. "Substantive" replies add to the discussion, expanding on and developing the topic. Just posting "great post" or "I agree" does not count as a "substantive reply.
In addition to written discussion, we have "exercises" or longer writing assignments on the course materials and assigned readings that we post to an individual forum that only the instructor or facilitator can read - besides the individual student of course.
Are any of you thinking about taking an online course for credit or certification someday? Online education and training is a major growth area. I have mixed feelings about the trend. The online education system is not perfect and has problems, it does make education available to more people.
Let's discuss this. What do you think is the future of education in today's world? Of online education for degrees and certification?