Reflect and write about your experiences in creating your Moodle lesson.
Knowing there will be a diverse group of online learners in a course, understanding that these differences can impact how a learner will engage in the lesson helped me to develop appropriate teaching strategies to meet these needs. I included structured discussion forums through VoiceThread and after the readings/videos. I gave specific instructional to help guide the learners through the content and have an understanding of the expectations of the activities. I even provided specific instructions as to the level of interactions with the discussion forum. The activities provided in this lesson are offered learner to learner interactions, social presence, through the Voicethread and Discussion Forum activity. A teacher to learner, teacher presence, journal activity allows the teacher to give one on one conversations. The learner is able to reflect on their own understanding, their current teaching practices and goals they have for the course. The learner to content, cognitive presence, is provided through the readings and video. One video asks the learner to stop and think about the content or their own best practices.
Overall, the most difficult part to an online course development is the quantity vs quality of the the content provided and work required to be completed. More is not necessarily better. It is time consuming on the instructor’s part to go through all the material and determine which ones are the best quality to provide the learners, so they make the best use of their time. It is often best to just create your own video with the content you want the learners to know and focus on. I also think it can be challenging to determine what type of activity to assign the learners to get them to demonstrate their understanding. As an instructor you do not want to have the same activity to complete for each lesson. It can become so routine, losing the interest of the learners.
The most rewarding thing about this project is that I have been able to start an entire course for the district so we can move forward with our initiative this school year. This has been conversations for a bit of time now, this assignment allowed me to begin the process. I have realized that there is a lot of front loading of work. In an online course, everything must be completed before the course begins. In a face to face course, you have the ability to go “week by week”. I have also realized through both the eyes of the instructor and learner, just how important it is to have social presence and teacher presence in the course. It is not just about the content.