Am now in Week 3 of my online course and what's interesting to me is that the ability to manage the workload is the part that I need to resolve the most. Not that there's an overwhelming amount, but rather, that there is an amorphous quality to an online class...so it's hard to know where "enough" is.
In a regular face-to-face class, the meeting time is clearly defined and used, and then you have a specific set of goals that need to be done outside of class...easy to know when you've done a specific set. With this process, it feels much more vague, we are asked to post with certain minimums and while I understand the need to require a minimum, the end result is a vague sense that you haven't done enough. So, this week, I'm looking at being more specific with my time use and it will be interesting to see how that works.
Group projects are still a difficult one. Many of my students have full time jobs, families and are trying to complete their education on top of that...much like myself at this point. What the group project has done is add 3-4 other people's schedules into my own, which is not working for me at all. Each individual has a different interpretation of how much time they should spend and a different schedule in terms of what time is available to them. So, the trick in my courses will be to find ways that people can collaborate without adding layers of complications to their already busy lives. Not really sure what that would be.
This week I will start making notes on my final paper, which will be a proposal to our curriculum committee for an online version of Art 80: Elements of Photography. This seems to be a class that is well suited for an online course since it is a non-lab class and designed for general education students. There are multiple obstacles to creating an online version of a lab class, the biggest being access to the software (being taught, not the platform venue) and equipment. Perhaps a hybrid type of lecture/lab class might work with an online class and a face-to-face meeting each week.
While developing my resources for the paper, I'm a bit concerned that I maybe missing some of the more important research out there...since educational research isn't really my area of expertise. I do feel I've found some interesting articles, but I'd like more information related to the online teaching of visual media.