Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Experimentation Begins

I’m hip deep now, obviously, in getting things ready on my end for the online class I’ll begin teaching in a week.

I’ve had a few lucid moments, such as reading a fourteen-page document put together by a fellow Foundations English teacher for an idea on how I should approach putting together my own instructors’ corners for the course and thinking that, wow, do they really need that much structure?

Then again, my only experience with online courses has been in a graduate program, where student motivation can make up for the lack of structure, so I can’t base everything I do on my own experiences.

Then again, I’ve had moments like this as I prepare:

Used under the fair use doctrine for commentary purposes.

So here are a few of my thoughts as I go into this course:
  • I’m going to show solidarity with my students by completing the assignments as they do, in the time they’re allotted to do it. Maybe I can build some empathy that way for them, and maybe that can help me decide how to contribute to making the course better.
  • I’ve got to succeed at this. I want to do it again, scary as it is at the moment. This online teaching gig is a serious stepping-stone to other career paths in the future, if I can stick with it and actually get some good student reviews out of it so those higher up in the program continue to like me.
  • I’ve got to overcommunicate. That’s my Achilles heel – I tend to undercommunicate. At the same time, I don’t want to overwhelm – that’s why I’m looking at this fourteen-page document with some trepidation, as I’m not sure how useful it really will be to my students.
Despite my anxiety and shortcomings, I’m really anxious for this class to begin. It’ll take me out of my comfort zone for a while – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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