The eighth – and final for today – session that I am blogging here at SITE 2017 related to K-12 Online and Blended Learning is:
Designing Online Education: It’s More Than Simply Putting a Face-to-Face Course Online
Presider: Adolfo Prieto, California State University, Fullerton, United States
While simply placing materials/modules/assignments in an online venue can be classified as an “online” course; without other critical elements embedded, such a course could be deemed nothing more than a “correspondence course online”. It’s elements such as communication, collaboration, and ability to “read” your learners that help to create the learning dynamics in the face-to-face classroom; and those are the elements that must be embedded into an online course in order to create that same dynamic learning environment. The online course designer must consider (1) how the course will be delivered to the learners (learning management system) and (2) the attributes of the online learners (who they are, their experiences with technology and online courses, and how face-to-face courses must be converted to meet the needs of the unique group of learners). Here, the presenters share steps that facilitate the conversion of a face-to-face course to a dynamic online learning environment.
The session was focused on the Master’s of Instructional Technology at Sam Houston State University, which is completely online. The first speaker suggested that it would look working with their students on the differences of teaching face-to-face compared to teaching online (which implied that the focus would be on their students, whom it seemed like were in-service teachers). The program was based on the ISTE coaching standards, using courses in Computer Science and Curriculum & Instruction. over two semesters.
After this general introduction, three of the presenters essentially just talked about what they did (from their perspectives of either being an instructor or instructional design – and potentially also a student for two of these three presenters) and what they took away from it or the lessons that they learned or advice that they had for us (and, to some extent, this is why what I am doing is so great). There was no accompanying MS PowerPoint material to go with what they were saying.
The session was a lot of this is what we did and we had success, as opposed to any sort of data-based or empirical assessment of their actions. Basically, a personal reflection session. I should note that this session was listed as a “best practices” sessions, as opposed to a full paper, brief paper, roundtable or symposium session – and I’ve discussed at previous SITE conferences that these “best practice” sessions tend to not have a lot of value for a researcher or from a research perspective.