Sunday, March 28, 2010

Creating an Online Class

I teach at Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan. This year (2010), my school will be offering a handful of summer courses. These courses are intended to offer students an opportunity to take required course thus opening up their schedules during the school year, take courses that might not fit in a regular school day, and/or meet Michigan's new requirement for an "Online Experience."

These courses will be either entirely virtual or will be hybrid courses. Instructors have the option of having face to face classes in June, but the school building will be closed throughout July. Any course meetings in that time will by necessity be virtual. Personally, I'm creating a course titled Pre-Engineering: Physical Computing. I may have a few meetings in June, but my course will be taught mostly through self-paced lessons online. The f2f time in June need not actually be f2f. I'll allow students to Skype in or if there are too many who want to do that I'll use Stickcam or Ustream. These early meetings will be to help students get up and running and troubleshoot the set-up pieces.

My entire course is nearly done. It's done enough to open it up for comments. The url is kind of ugly, but just follow this link to have a look around.

General Format of my course:
  • Broken up into bite sized pieces
  • Units include a mixture of great lessons I've found on the net and mediocre ones I created
  • Some (most?) units will include videos. More videos can easily be created during the course as warranted to clear up confusion.
  • Each uint will have specific assignments to be completed and posted to the students' logs.
  • Currently all assessment will be performance based. I have not created the rubrics yet, but those should be coming soon. I gave up on the idea of content quizzes online, but I may come back to it, or I may use Skype or Google Voice to do oral quizzes with the students (depending on the number I have).
  • 95% or more will be asynchronous. However, I will have virtual office hours at least once a week (or appointments as needed). Again, I'll use Skype or Google Voice for this.

My current goal is to have everything completed for my course by the end of Easter break. I welcome any comments from the 12 of you or so who might read this post. Don't worry about offending me. I really want brutal honesty. I'll post more as I finish my course and as I run it this summer, that way you'll be able to learn from all of my mistakes.

1 comment:

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