The “Four Dimensions” case study outlined four major roles that should be fulfilled by online instructors. Within each dimension, there are more specific roles and within those roles there are specific examples of how a teacher might fulfill that role. Based on my experience in the classroom setting, I know that teachers wear many different hats, and those hats could be worn individually, simultaneously, at different times, and on different days. It seems the same is true for online education. The Pedagogical, Managerial, Social, and Technological dimensions discussed in the case study are multifaceted and I think to some degree, I will play many of the roles in my online module.
Under the Pedagogical dimension, I can see myself playing the role of Course-Designer, Profession-Inspirer, Feedback-Giver. Of course, we are the designers of our modules, so that one is self-explanatory. A lot of the instructors in the case study talked about the effectiveness of the trial and error in online course design and I definitely think that I will learn most about my module as students progress through the parts and difficulties or lack of clarity arise. I am excited to get to that stage in the process so I can start refining things and getting a better idea of what works and what does not work. I will also play the role of Profession-Inspirer because there is a section of my module that requires students to discuss their prior knowledge regarding forensic chemistry and also to research careers in forensic chemistry. I honestly feel like most of my Feedback role will be in a traditional F2F method as I can not see myself sitting back and just watching as students are working through the module. I am not certain how much ONLINE feedback I will be giving. I do not think I will be doing much in the Interaction-Facilitator role unless I choose to get involved in the short discussion board piece at the beginning of the module.
In the Managerial dimension, I definitely see the need to play the Organizer and Planner role. Clear instructions and organized course structure will be imperative to the success of the module. I do not think that I will play the Conference Manager role because there will not be an on-going discussion piece to this module.
The Social dimension seems difficult to apply to this module since we already know the kids and they will be in our classroom for the activity, and they will likely still “engage” with each other in the F2F format to some degree.
In the Technical dimension, I will have to play the technical coordinator to some degree. Again, I will be in the classroom with them for the most part so this seems a little weird to apply to this particular module. I do not think I will play much of a Media Designer role, as I will just be implementing the media rather than designing it.
There are a lot of roles that need to be fulfilled just in this short module! I think these articles were helpful in that they allow us to actually see all of the things we need to do to successfully “teach” our students. It isn’t just about the content…there is so much more!