Here it is spring of 2011 and I have taught three, almost four, online classes. All those things that I thought I would do, well, like any other class, I find I'm still working on them. I have placed video and links and visuals in to begin to reach some of my visual learners.However, the big changes I wanted - more interaction, more conversation, millions of links, assignments that were easier to grade. Well, they're still coming.
The most interesting piece for me is the similarities of class behavior. I began this teaching experience believing that "online" would be different. The answer is yes and no. Yes, there is no face to face and when, occasionally, I meet a student, the physical student may be different from how I imagined online. The online geek nerd boy doesn't wear glasses and looks like a football player.The sophisticated literate girl looks like she got her clothes at the thrift store and hasn't washed them. However, I still get the same number of "Dear Teach04192011er" messages, although now they seem to think that calling me Professor has a sympathetic appeal. Some just call me "Nancy" and have a casual, buddy kind of approach. They all want something - a little more time, a little less work, the answers to the quiz before they take it. You would not believe the number of sick relatives, natural disasters, electrical outages and faulty computers one class can have.
But I slug along and every once in a while, I get an email after the class is over! And it says," Thank you. I learned something I never knew before. I think it might help me in the future."
So I'm still teaching. :)