Ch. 10 – Development of online courses by Caplan & Graham (in Anderson)
This introductory chapter to developing an online learning course had many components that I can personally relate to. Based on this chapter, developing an online course seems parallel to developing an entire unit of study or blended unit in order for students to be more self directed learners. Based on my recent experience in teaching the blended model to teachers, an educator needs to plan, organize and have all components ready prior to the first day of class. Teachers who experienced a blended course module was more successful in their own implementation because they underwent a few of the same challenges their students would face and had strategies that helped them through the process.
Having developed an online course for my district on personal learning networks, I found the tips to be very accurate. Not to mention helpful for new online course designers. Most teachers are not familiar with the process of online courses and the discipline it takes to be self motivated and complete the work. The first time I implemented my PLN course, I allowed for freedom in pace. Teachers could take their time to complete assignments on their own time, however, the work was to be completed by a certain date. I learned, that as the instructor, I need to give them a suggested pace. As suggested by the authors, I began to scaffold the course to allow for more success with our teachers. This helped not only with teachers completing the assignments, but with the networking, community based requirements. There was little participation in our Google community. The 3rd time the course was implemented, I saw more communication between the majority of the class participants.