I think this is a very real concern. In all the pre-course prep I’ve watched fellow learners build everything from Wiki’s, Twitter accounts, YouTube accounts and blogs, to Google Plus groups, Facebook groups, and everything else. What I found even more interesting is that I already had accounts in place to take advantage of all of these things. It made me realize just how much I already utilize all these social networks and sharing mediums in my day-to-day life and how little I used them when teaching online classes. Or I’d stick to one particular format and students would quickly get bored.
I’m also seeing how overwhelmed some of my fellow students seem to be with all of this. As a busy writer, I’m all over the place with social networking. If I’m not blogging or tweeting, maintaining my FB pages, or posting to my Facebook or Google+ walls, I’m busy uploading book trailers or informational videos to one of my YouTube channels. I belong to several online forums and a few FB Groups, too. So none of this is foreign to me. I’m not as overwhelmed as some folks.
However, I also know how disconnected some people seem to get if they aren’t engaged in the learning process. For my online courses so far I’ve used eBooks, websites with visual aids, forum message boards and email to teach students. I think adding new dimensions to classes might engage students more, especially the younger generation who are very familiar with all of this and who may not feel as overwhelmed.
A new course format is beginning to form in my head. Students keep a blog to post written homework, thoughts, commentary, etc… That way, as a teacher, I can simply go blog to blog to grade assignments. I also like the concept of QuadBlogging so that students can peer review and motivate one another. This class is the first time I’ve heard of this. Additionally, I like the idea of having a central class discussion forum. I also think that aside from just eBooks or a website with assignments and readings listed, it might be fun to create visual presentations as part of my course material.
All of that said – just watching the preliminary prep for EDCMOOC has given me a clearer picture of this course and how all these various venues and formats can work together in a way that may not be overwhelming. So while this course includes everything, the courses you create don’t have to contain everything. Just what works.
Anyway, just thinking aloud.
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