Thursday, November 30, 2006

Plus One

Joe, my boss at Tiny Community College, called this afternoon and left a message on my machine.

He's caught in the throes of trying to figure out next term's schedule, and he warned me earlier this week, when he gave me the schedule for the two classes that he wanted me to take, that nothing's settled yet. I mentioned before that it takes him a while to work up to full speed, and that I always assume the worst when he wants to speak to me. I'm still not sure why I do it, but I can tell you for sure that I still do - the first few seconds of his voice message went like this:

"Hi, Chili, it's Joe. I need you to call me back, I've got some problems with your schedule."

"Damn!" I thought, "there goes at least one of my classes, if not both of them..." He saved me, though, with his next sentence:

"I might need you to take on at least one other class. Call me back when you get this. Bye"

I'm now the instructor or record (at least, tentatively) for three composition courses; two standard classes that meet face-to-face twice a week (Joe calls them "chalk and talks") and one hybrid course that meets once a week in a classroom and does the rest of the credit hours online.

I was hoping to not have any online courses. I'm not entirely comfortable with online delivery and I find that it's harder to keep students focused when they don't have a set time to meet and attend to the work for a class. Still, having experience teaching online courses can only be a good thing, given the current trend in that direction in higher education. I'm working on some ideas for an online class - one that may use blogging as a tool for learning to write - and I'm open to any suggestions you may have.

I'm going to have a LOT of reading to do next term!


Blogger BoDog said...

Ugh...Online classes. My father taught an online class, so I'll ask him if he has any pointers.

But the idea is creeping into secondary education as well, which concerns me some. NovaNet, a computerized version of a class, is already in my school, but how many teens know how to get information and teach themselves? But even before that, my old principal talked about how he wouldn't be surprised if we had virtual classrooms nation wide for middle and high school. I can see some benefits...expelled/homebound students could still get their education...but right now, at work, I'm off the network...which means no email, no internet, computerized gradebook...ALL week. So I am wary that today's doctor's notes will become tomorrow's technicians notes...

November 30, 2006 9:48 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

Have to agree with Bodog on this one. I've taken an internet course and not gonna lie, they're more of a pain than a convenience. ESPECIALLY for someone who MAY be prone to procrastination!

It was the whole 'outta sight, outta mind' mentality that killed me. Plus when the network was down, I was screwed! (Especially when I waited till 11:45 the night before to start the assignment!)

I like the idea about blogging though. That's cool. I'm not sure what that would look like but it's awesome that you can think outside the box like that. Awesome job! (I used "that" three times just sounds choppy and elementary. Is it correct though??)


PS: Congrats on making it through NoBloPoMo!!! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yer the BOMB! ;-)

November 30, 2006 10:07 PM  
Blogger kate said...

I'm currently doing a degree program online (a teaching degree, no less.) We do have to show up for exams, and once a month there is a Saturday where you go (though it's optional) to meet with your classes and/or professors. And of course we have to do the two teaching practicums (six weeks each one) in person, at a real elementary school. So far I have been pleased with the whole program-- the professors answer emails promptly and in detail.

Of course, this program is offered by a "real" (i.e. nonvirtual) university that also has a regular degree program, so it's not exactly an "internet course." It's very convenient for me because I can manage my own time, like studying when the kids are in bed. You do miss the in-class experience, but as I said, the profs are very willing to respond via email to questions or observations etc.

I do think this type of program is best for self-motivated students, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to someone with no prior university experience, though of course it really depends on the individual.

Sorry for the long post, but feel free to contact me if you want to ask anything about my experience or the way this program is run...

December 05, 2006 3:40 AM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...


I'd LOVE to hear about your experiences with online courses. I'm not sure how to run mine, and am looking for as much input as possible.

What kind of courses do you / did you take online? What kind of work was expected? What kind of "meetings" were expected, either online or in person? Do you use chat rooms? Do you interact with the other students in the class, or mostly just with the professors?

My class will meet face-to-face once a week and "online" once a week, though I'm not sure what the online meetings will consist of. My public speaking course, which was also a hybrid, de-evolved into my giving them a boatload of homework after the face-to-face meeting and calling that the online class. Blah.

Anything you can share would be greatly appreciated!



December 05, 2006 7:49 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I'll try to get back to you soon with answers (right now I'm in the middle of an online asignment that has to be turned in by tomorrow...)

December 13, 2006 4:17 PM  
Anonymous peter said...



August 12, 2010 5:37 AM  

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