Apr 21 2012
Can F2F education be replicated in the online environment?
The course I am revising is a course I am currently teaching on campus. I often find myself thinking about how to best replicate my on-campus instruction and assessment in the online environment. However, as I am learning more and more through this course more I am seeing that they really are separate environments. While the course objectives and student learning outcomes may be the same I think I need to think less about replicating the on-campus experience and thinking more about how I can work within the online environment given the tools and resources provided to meet the objectives and learning outcomes specified.
The greatest challenge for me, as some of you have already mentioned, is having to have all 10 weeks ready to go before the term starts. With my on-campus classes I of course have a course outline that I follow, but I am constantly fine tuning as I go. The thought of not being able to do that is somewhat daunting. In one sense having a whole course planned out and set to go from day one sounds ideal, but on the other hand I find myself often wondering if once I put the course in place am I going to think of a better way I should have implemented something?
Connecting with the students is both different and similar. Email is a primary means of communication between an instructor and student both online and with F2F education and it certainly has its pros and cons. It can be quick and convenient for addressing something and a lot less efficient for other things. In some ways I feel like I get to know online students more through their written communication. Although F2F contact tends to help me to make stronger connections with students. I like the idea of Skype office hours and Google groups for F2F contact within the online environment.