Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Are You Ready For Online Learning?" WHAT KIND? Synchronous/Asynch? Text/Voice/Video?

2 self-tests from OntarioLearn.com for prospective online students below.  
Good prep/background for our FridayLive! session this week:  Frugal Innovation:  Colleges Sharing Online Courses Sept 16, 2011 Register (FREE) to receive login information.

However, these tests would be more helpful if accompanied by better information about the kinds of online courses for which the tests have been designed.  The technology options for teaching/learning online are changing VERY FAST.  The self-tests should be introduced by explanations of how much, if at all, these courses can vary in schedule, pedagogy, media - should answer some questions like these:  

  • Do these courses include synchronous options?  
  • Is most interaction only via text online?  Live or recorded audio?  Video?  Are telephone conversations permitted, encouraged, or forbidden?
  • Is most learning expected to be via reading printed materials?  Reading online?  Engaging in specific tasks that must be done independently?  
  • How and when can students get feedback about their progress?  
  • How and when are students tested or graded?
  • How often and in what ways is the teacher available to respond to questions?
1.  "Is Online Learning Right for You?" Online self-test (all yes/no items) from 22 college consortium Ontariolearn.com that offers hundreds of fully online courses. Includes: 
  • Is Online Learning Right for You? (7 items)
  • Assess Your Computer Skills (6 items re computer tasks; 4 items re Internet related skills)
  • Assess Your Equipment/Software (6 items)
"Review your readiness for online learning. Find out if online learning is 'right' for you, assess your computer skills and check to see if you have the necessary equipment/software. The questions are intended to help you determine if online learning is a good match for you."
2.  "Online Learning Self Assessment" Online self-test from Centre for Distributed Learning, Seneca College, one of 22 partner community colleges in the OntarioLearn.com consortium (12 3-option multiple-choice questions;  Explanation of the Self-Assessment Questions "The 12 questions in the self-test reflect some of the facts about taking distance education courses.")
"My Eye - a self portrait" by 
Kolin Toney  
Some rights reserved
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
 (CC BY-SA 2.0

1 comment:

  1. Just an observation: Many "is online learning right for you?" quizzes are set up with students in mind. Are you comfortable in an online environment? Is your computer and connectivity up to the task? Are you able to do some trouble-shooting on your own if things are not working properly? If you can't solve a problem, are you willing to reach out to technology staff and get the help you need? Are you a self-motivated enough to make your online course a priority? All of these things are basic questions students should settle in their minds whether the course is synchronous, asynchrous, blended, etc. Some more student self-assessments are available at http://www.online.uillinois.edu/students/well_suited.asp . Maybe we also need to look for self assessments that ask "is online teaching right for you"? Many of the questions for faculty are similar. Once we're satisfied that we can handle teaching in an online enviornment, we can go on to questions about the specifics of course design.


What do you think?