I haven’t read anyone else’s blog posts yet, and hope there’s not much in the way of redundancy here.
While nothing beats face to face interaction with a student, I do enjoy teaching within the online environment. One of the reasons has to do with that lack of interaction. Specifically, how to overcome it. Students can hide quite easily, and I enjoy reaching out to them via general announcements and individual emails. I’ve called students as well, which on some occasions has shocked them. For the most part, they have enjoyed this effort to welcome them and encourage their involvement.
Coming into this training, I’ve considered myself fairly competent with regard to Blackboard navigation and overall use. I’m immediately reminded that I’ve kept things fairly simple in the online courses taught so far, which has its benefits for the student user. They don’t need to work too hard when trying to find presentations, assignments, assigned readings, etc.
On the other hand, maintaining the status quo can make things a bit stagnant, and perhaps I need to challenge myself a bit more when designing courses. There are other tools I should start to use, including blogs and journals.
Regarding those blogs, I’m still not quite sure what the difference is between a blog and a Discussion Board Forum. I’ve definitely gotten used to using the Discussion Board for student interaction, but have a slight hunch it’s perceived as archaic by some students. Kind of like insisting on using a VCR when everyone else has moved on to streaming video. Does anyone else have an opinion on Discussion Board vs. Blog?
I plan on using blogs in the future, but am not certain if I should use it as a replacement for the Discussion Board, as a supplement, or something completely different. Thanks all.