Week Eight Activity (due April 3rd)
- Get caught up with previous activities.
- Complete a self- and course- assessment.
- (optional) Share some advice for future OLE’ers in a blog post.
You’re at the finish line! Congratulations.
We’ve presented a blend of material on both pedagogy and digital tools, knowing you’d bring your own content expertise to the mix. With no prerequisites and with faculty from across a range of disciplines, we necessarily offered many different options but we relied on you to choose the things that might be most relevant for your courses. In short, we trusted you to take responsibility for your own learning.
Hopefully, part of this experience sensitized you to being a student again in an environment that has unique challenges. It’s not always easy and your students will face similar issues: unfamiliarity with technologies, competing demands on their time and attention, and so on. But, more importantly, we hope you’ve glimpsed a bit of what’s possible. We’ve tried to encourage you to:
- Explore the unique possibilities of the web, rather than try to imitate a face-to-face course.
- Customize the learning experience to avoid dull, generic courses.
- Teach and model active, life-long learning skills, rather than focus exclusively on content delivery.
- Engage your students by sharing your passion, your humor, and your humanity through your social presence.
- And we should add….be patient–with yourself and your students; it’s easy to get frustrated, jaded, and demoralized.
We hope you’ll take away–and adapt–some of those tips in your own work.
Now, we leave you with a a couple of additional resources for your reference:
- Copyright. We’ve touched on copyright issues in discussing Creative Commons licensing, but here are some additional resources in case you’re interested.
- A brief introduction to copyright from the VCU Libraries, including “fair use” and classroom exceptions.
- An overview of Creative Commons licensing, which we had introduced earlier.
- A new (and still under construction) VCU site on a wide range of copyright issues that aims to create greater knowledge and provoke informed conversations about copyright law.
- Finally, VCU’s intellectual property policy, which may relate to your own work.
- Accessibility. You should be aware of basic accessibility issues in your course and may want to learn more details. (A student with a disability in your class would self-disclose this fact to you by presenting an official accommodation letter from either the Division for Academic Success or from Disability Support Services (see below). That is how you would know for sure that a student needs to be accommodated.)
OLE has suggested a range of possible resources and approaches for your course. If you’ve kept up with the assignments, you should have some good ideas about your course goals, how to find or create content that helps promote those goals, ways to encourage discussion and collaboration, types of assessments you might try, and more.
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll soon want to get down to the nuts and bolts of creating a course web site and choosing your content and assignments. You can get some inspiration from your colleagues who are already working in these spaces. And, as usual, we’re here to help you with that.
As some of you have already done, drop in to our open office hours “Agora,” held every Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 2:00–no appointment necessary. (We’re here through the summer, too.) We can sit with you, review your course plans, and help you begin setting up your course site. We can also talk about any customized needs you might have and how they might be accommodated.
We don’t do it for you; we do it with you so that, in the long run, you’ll be in control of designing and executing an engaging course that is an awesome learning experience for your students.
Activity #1: Get Caught Up
Yes, we understand. Commitments pile up and finding time is tough. So this is the week to clean up any remaining activities (and let us know of your progress). It’s last call, so to speak.
Activity #2: Do an Assessment
OLE is the product of previous participants. It’s constantly being revised based on feedback we receive, so please take the time to give us some substantive thoughts. We have a simple form to help you do this. Thanks.
[optional] Activity #3: Share Your Assessment
A private, anonymous assessment is useful for us but consider sharing your thoughts with your colleagues, too. How did things go? What did you learn? What advice would you give to a future cohort of OLE’ers? Your blog is your platform to speak. (As usual, be sure to check the OLE category.)
OLE is wrapping up but your online experience is just taking flight.
We hope you go forward with some new inspiration, skills, and confidence. Onward!