6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2010 12:13 PM by holmesg

    *All* online Essentials trial

    Bonnie Feather

      I set myself a personal challenge recently.  I was trying to schedule an Essentials course with a tech director in my state (AZ.)  We just could not come up with enough dates to make it work!  So, I said (I'm known for shooting off my mouth without thinking...) I could do an ALL online Essentials course.  Not only that, but we are condensing it into 6 weeks!  I started the group last week with a 3 hour orientation meeting (OK, so it's not ALL online) and we are going to meet again on June 1 for our showcase!

       

      I am blogging about this course here in Engage in case you are interested in how it's going.  We've had so many folks saying they have a hard time with the online version, I just thought I'd try this out.  One thing I've noticed already is that in order to give (redundant) navigation information to the participants, I am writing VERY long announcements.  I am also sending out the announcements in an email so learners have an easy way to check on what they are doing weekly and how they are progressing.  Starting in week 2, I am planning to give them a "suggested schedule" of activities for the week, which I found in the past (other online courses) some people like as a sort of "checklist" even though they don't do the tasks on the suggested dates.

       

      I would love any suggestions from others regarding how best to make this work.  Suggestions are welcome here and on my blog site!

       

      ~Bonnie

        • Re: *All* online Essentials trial
          lcsheehy

          Hi Bonnie,

          How is the all online course going? One thought to avoid extra long announcements, maybe you could attach a Word document with detailed directions?

          Hope it is going well!

            • Re: *All* online Essentials trial
              Bonnie Feather

              We are having difficulty keeping up with the course.  Several likely causes include timing: end-of-year and testing; lack of experience with online learning; learners worried about grades (!?)

                • Re: *All* online Essentials trial

                  Bonnie, even though this is really late, by a month or two, I firmly believe that unless the teacher is totally comfortable with online learning, there will be problems.  Many teachers we work with have never taken an online course and then to try and show them how to navigate a website they have never seen, it is a bit overwhelming.  I really prefer the face to face model.  But, then, I'm just an old fashioned guy!

                   

                  Neil

                    • Re: *All* online Essentials trial
                      holmesg

                      Neil,

                      I agree with you.  I have taught two essential online courses and it took an exhaustive amount of work to keep teachers returning to the course.  In fact, I was told by one of the participants that I took "no child/teacher left behind" to an all time high.  When I talked to the teachers who decided to drop out they said that the information was excellent and at the same time overwhelming.  So unless I am working with college students who are paying to complete the course, I will stick to face to face.  It allows me to build relationships and provide assistance as needed. With my face to face classes, all participants complete the course.

                        • Re: *All* online Essentials trial
                          Bonnie Feather

                          I admit, I really thought I could make this work, but the timing (near the end of the school year) and the amount of material, along with inexperience of the learners made this really tough!

                           

                          You're right- it takes an EXHAUSTIVE amount of work to keep them engaged.

                           

                          I, too have decided I prefer F2F, or at least a hybrid course- so I can keep scooping my participants back in to the fold as they feel overwhelmed.