Trying to Overcome Compartmentalization

I definitely have work to do in all five areas, but right off the bat, Pitfall #1 (“Upload your course materials, then call it a day”) really struck a nerve of recognition, especially in relation to how I have set up my strictly online course, ES 101, which I have taught for Ecampus over the past several years. While I have tried to put a lot of thought into the ways in which students interact with each other (participating in online discussion, sharing their assignments, etc.) and designing assignments focused on applying what they have learned to their own research projects and critical analyses, I realize that I have neglected trying to find a more interactive approach when it comes to my own engagement with course material vis-à-vis interaction with students. Sadly, I am that person who has posted a textual equivalent of weekly lectures and then called it a day.

While I think the hybrid format by nature will help combat such compartmentalization between students’ engagement with course material and how I present my own observations since it retains the face-to-face component (hence my excitement about participating in this program), I also know I cannot assume that such interaction will happen automatically. Coming from the other direction and thinking about my on-campus classes, Pitfall #3 (“Insist on being the ‘sage on the stage'”) has me rethinking how I present my take on course material in those classes as well.

This week’s mix map assignment was especially helpful in terms of thinking very deliberately about how the various components of my class might interact with each other in relation to learning outcomes (frankly, it has me wanting to overhaul all of my classes). So while I’m not sure exactly what it will look like, I am excited about exploring possible alternative means of presenting course material and at the same time engaging students in much more interactive ways and in ways that take advantage of the hybrid format. In short, I know I need to step back and think of my course in much more holistic terms.

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One Response to Trying to Overcome Compartmentalization

  1. duncanp says:

    Patti S., I feel the same way, regarding the need to really reconsider all of my courses in more holistic terms. I like the way that teaching in a hybrid or blended format actually pushes us to think about the aspects of teaching that aren’t actually always necessary or effective (e.g., traditional lectures, for example). And I share your excitement in terms of exploring ways to engage students in more interactive ways! -Patti D.

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