Thursday, July 7, 2011

C&I 438 Blog Post 4

I can't believe that the final week of this course is slipping away. What happened? What a crazy summer!  Just last night I was thinking, "Gee, I can't wait for the semester to start up so that things will slow down a little." Huh??? What's going on here?

Still, despite the fact that I have been on the road a lot - some planned, some unplanned - that's one thing that makes this course, and all of online education, so appealing.  I was still able to complete the course work and learn new skills, even remotely.  As always, through her preplanning and organization, Dr. Toledo (aka "Captain Toledo") has directed a challenging, at times exhausting, course that has leaned heavily on our own work ethic and our ability to create real-life, tangible products that will be beneficial and useful to us in the future.  In this way, I will certainly not forget these lessons tomorrow.  Although I was familiar with Wikis prior to this course, I am now steeped in them having wrestled with creating my own CMS.  Also, as much as I was able to do, seeing my classmates' projects and being able to evaluate them has given me even more ideas for how to make my CMS and Wikis even better in the future. This peer-collaboration was a very important aspect of the course design of 438.

One thing I might recommend for the future, although I recognize that it must be insanely difficult to manage an online class of this size, would be to mix up the groups.  We were syphoned off into our groups and never deviated from them throughout the course, despite the connections we may have initially made during the large group introductions ("Why can't I pick my own group?!?!", right Dr. T?).  I know it might be a logistical nightmare, but mixing up the groups from time to time might make it feel like I am taking the course with more than just 4 other people.

Finally, my recommendations to future 438 students would be to, as Dr. T says over and over, create your Course as you go, so that the end process is relatively simple.  I even tried to make sure that I was doing this, and thought that I was for the most part, only to still be scrambling a little at the end as my CMS was missing some elements that I had initially overlooked.

Overall, I thought this was a great course, very interesting and informative, and especially valuable from a hands-on approach to learning about online education.  This course will definitely impact the way that I teach, regardless if I am teaching online or face-to-face, as I will incorporate the tech tools, CMS organization, and peer evaluation strategies and skills that I have gained.

Thanks so much!!

Jay