In the reading the article examining online instructor roles, I discovered that many of the roles outlined for online instruction, were roles I already undertake with face to face instruction. I am looking forward to the challenge of applying these roles to the blended learning module that I am developing. Listed within each of the four main roles were detailed examples of how an instructor could meet with success in that role. I think that the most exciting role for me is the Pedagogical role. This role allows me to share and build knowledge in my module. Under this dimension, the role of Course Designer is the one that I enjoy the most. Finding and designing materials to enhance the learning experience has always been one of my favorite parts of teaching. I think that while it might take more time to find those really good online resources that will enhance learning, I will enjoy the search. I have had some experience with designing my online flipped classroom lessons. I enjoy finding great interactive materials and I enjoy making my own lecture videos with Camtasia. Making my own videos allows me to have complete control over the content that I deliver to my students. I can give them the exact information that I want them to have and not have to rely on other sources that might not have exactly what I am looking for. I also think that by making my own videos I am establishing that all important teacher presence even outside of the classroom.
I think the Feedback-Giver is probably one of the most important roles that a teacher can play. I know from experience that students want their tests and quizzes graded almost immediately! There are some online assessment tools that can give the students and me that immediate feedback. I often assign a video for students to watch and then have them take a short quiz on the content. The quiz gives them immediate feedback on their understanding and I can check to see what they are having trouble with before we meet back in class. In my module I plan to have several online quizzes that will give this immediate feedback. Schoology has a great online quiz feature that also gives me immediate statistical analysis of student quizzes.
Under the Managerial dimension, it is the Organizer and Planner that I can relate most to. Getting the “flow” in an online course that I think is so necessary in a face to face course is probably going to be challenging. I am excited to try and build that organizational structure in my online/blended module. While the authors listed Media Designer under the Technical domain, I can also see it as part of the Pedagogical domain, where you are designing your learning experience very specifically for your students. I love playing with the different methods of preparing educational videos, it can be a bit addicting, and you need to focus on how to use the bells and whistles to really help students learn. I don’t want to get too caught up in the making of video media at the expense of designing the overall module. In the article Teaching in an Online Learning Context one statement gave me great hope… “One does not have to be a technical expert to be an effective online teacher… the effective online learning teacher must have the type of resilience, innovativeness, and perseverance typical of all pioneers in unfamiliar terrain.”
I will be least likely to employ the role of Conference manager and Social rapport builder as I will still be seeing my students on a daily basis and we will be interacting in the classroom. I would like to try and incorporate an online discussion group at some point, but I don’t think it is necessary to the student learning in this module.