Monday, September 22, 2014

POTCert Week 3 : Pedagogy and Course Design

Panic is what I felt followed by some "ah that's a good idea" but let me explain.

In spite of being an avid user of the internet and having been experimenting with tools and learning different related skills since 1997, I have never had the chance to design and create an online course. For my f2f courses I always design for maximum trainee involvement, so that the learning objectives are reached through activities such as role plays, games, simulations, individual as well as group projects, case studies and suitably designed discussions and feedback to unpack the learning from all that towards achieving the course objectives. So why panic?

As I went through the readings and videos in a very non linear way I started developing some concerns:

1- Some topics and activities are easier to translate to online than others. E.G. a Business Finance course vs a Train the Trainer course where the trainees are going to be f2f trainers, and must experiment and try different activities in a classroom and get feedback from their colleagues and from me.

2- Blended vs Fully online. Is one better than the other for some subjects or in some circumstances? Is going for blended a cop-out?

3- LMS vs tools from the WWW : Apart from POTCERT itself, all the examples that I've looked at have been created within an LMS, something that I cannot use, at least not yet. How will that impact the design, especially from the point of view of the availability of the tools I need for different activities, to the time that I will need to invest. Is the WWW more limiting, compared to something like Blackboard or just requires thinking outside all the boxes? :)

Describing all the "ah that's a good idea" moments will make this post too long, so I will just briefly mention parts that resonated with or inspired me.

From Chickering and Ehrmann
3. Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques
7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

From Chapter 3
- the power of delivering a blended course. what was needed was a true redesign of her course to effectively blend and integrate face-to-face and online elements.
- course as a constantly evolving project
- Like the art of translation, course conversion should not merely strive for a word-for-word equivalency, but should allow the new language of communication to be fully exploited. Just as there are some things one can say only in Chinese or Spanish, there are new and different forms of expression.

From Videos
- Different ways of sequencing
- adding a video message to welcome and orient
- Ask the teacher button
- being creative and creating a sense of adventure, curiosity and community

A couple of useful tools that I found
1- Vocaroo
2- Gyazo

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