Sunday, February 14, 2010

Creating an On-Line class. What is the best way?

I have been collaborating with a teacher in our district as she puts together an online Psychology course. We've had many discussions about the best way to put the course together that would keep the students actively engaged.We haven't really come up with an idea of the perfect on line class.  But what we both know is; putting together an on-line course is very time consuming.  Probably more so than in a face-to-face setting.

Some of the things she is doing in the online class to simulate what she did in Face-to Face class:
  • Uses Blackboard and Ning as platforms for course distribution
  • Uses i-Spring to add audio to her notes.
  • Uses Hippocampus and YouTube for related videos
  • Collaborative work using EtherPad
  • Having the students Blog
  • Using Adobe Connect to work with students
With all of this technology she still doesn't feel like the class is what it could be if she was there with them.

My questions:  Can you create an online class that is truly engaging, interactive and has the ability to capture the learners attention?  Can we create this in a face to face class?

I was re-watching the video below and made me think.  The online classes presented now to students (at least the ones I am seeing)  are like the regular escalator.  They get the job done but they are just not that exciting.  What I think is possible is an online class that is engaging and interactive like the stairs on the left.  It will require more work by both the educator as well as the learner.  And it is going to require some good technology.

Give me some feedback on what you think makes a good online class.

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