Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Online classes moving forward at Coker
This summer I have had the opportunity of teaching or directing an online class in public speaking. It has been a valuable learning experience being on the instructor side of the online course. A few years ago I took a couple of online courses and enjoyed them and I did want to see what it would be like to be teaching online.
Coker is working with the Learning Company to introduce the online class process to our campus. The Learning Company is providing a lot of the infrastructure that is required for online offerings while providing Coker the opportunity to customize the experience of online education to the Coker culture. (Photo shows a seminar on June 28 with the Learning House representatives and Coker faculty.)
The online experiment began this summer with a number of liberal arts core courses offered online. For most of the faculty involved, it is a first-time online teaching experience. There is no question it is not the same as a classroom. While there are narrated power point lectures, and links to videos and musical selections, there is a great deal of responsibility on the part of the students to access the material provided. From my course, which had a small enrollment, I discovered this responsibility was not for everyone. The students who have participated seem to be getting a great deal from the online experience as they post their speeches through YOUTUBE and get pretty immediate feedback not only from the coach/professor but also from fellow students.
I am hoping to continue learning how to build engagement in online learning because for the student who is motivated from within, it can be a great way to move the college education forward.