Course 5318 of Lamar University’s Digital Learning and Leading program provided me with an opportunity to create an online course. This course augmented the innovation plan I devised early in the program. My innovation plan involves leveraging new technology tools and software to create virtual work-place environments and 360-degree tours for students in Career and Technical Education courses.
In designing this course, I relied on the Constructivist learning theory, which is to say learners construct meaning from their experiences. The activities built into my course required the learner to perform tasks and then reflect on what they had done. I tried to inject an element of social accountability through discussion boards and gave learners leeway with regard to the subject of their virtual tours.
I have thought about and designed lessons—primarily for professional development—with a UbD mindset for so long now, it is second nature to me to begin with the end in mind. From the first unit of this course, I laid out what the end goal is: create a library of virtual worksite tours. The lessons that follow are designed backward to take the learner to that eventual outcome.
It is clear that online learning will only grow exponentially. The freedom it offers in terms of scheduling make it a much more flexible format for delivering instruction. As teachers at heart, we wonder will the lack of face-to-face interaction with learners detract substantially from the course? After taking this course, and building my own online course, I can honestly say that with the technology available to conduct courses on line, little is lost by not being in an in-person environment. From web-conferencing software to conduct synchronous meetings with learners, to web 2.0 tools learners can use to demonstrate their learning, I am astounded by the benefits to online learning. The Bates text and the OSCQR standards have been invaluable resources.
Seeing all the criteria for a well-developed course laid out in one document causes one to realize just how much goes into creating an on-line course. Having conducted this self-assessment, it is clear how lacking my course is. I think I’ve done a decent job introducing my course and its purpose. I also provided a variety of activities for learners to demonstrate their learning. I really need to go back an beef up elements of accessibility and feedback.
Bates, T. (2015) Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Designing Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/
Standards for Professional Learning. (2015) Retrieved from https://learningforward.org/standards/learning-designs#.VzHxq2MWVlI