It is almost two thirds of the way through our online seminar. At first, I wondered where everyone on the course had gone as there seemed to be very little engagement. By the end of the first weekend though there was the expected flurry of participants introducing themselves and making a few comments on the discussion forums.
We have taken it in turns to moderate at evenings and weekends to fit in with our work schedules. Most participants though are working full time too so we expect them to be online at these times. As expected the main gush is on the weekend and it is a bit disheartening when you moderate on a work night and find only one or maybe two people have written something. Then you have to respond, or respond to the others in your groups comments to show that you are involved too. Responses and feedback is important and I usually use the pointers given in her book by Brookhart in How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students. This is slightly different though as the posts are usually agreeing with someone else and not submitting written work. I have found myself going through research papers to find a comment or two to put another slant on what has been said. I would agree with Ormond (2013) who states that moving from face to face classroom teaching to online teaching isn’t easy. A different skillset is needed. I have had some experience but not a fully online course.
This is a real learning curve and I am already thinking about time allocations for lecturers when my courses go online. Listening to this weeks podcasts has also shed some light on this as to the models that can be used by lecturers who are working on the same course. The agreement that we made in the first module comes to light as to roles and responsibilities and also the “handover” time that may be needed between lecturers sessions. Some thinking to do!
Brookhart Susan (2008) How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students
Ormond S (2013), ‘Supporting Students in Online, Open and Distance Learning’, 3rd Edition