Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A course is not a pizza or book. Who owns a course? If you deliver it, you don't own it! Who takes responsibility?

See: "Are You Ready For Online Learning?" WHAT KIND? Synchronous/Asynch? Text/Voice/Video?
What could enable more students to succeed in an online course?
Especially, what kinds of support provided by someone other than the lead teacher?
What kinds of support for the students?
What kinds of support for the lead teacher?

There are many self-tests for prospective online students - a few are listed below.

Too many students fail or drop out of online courses. The single reason cited most often for students’ failure or non-completion of online courses is “lack of self-discipline,” for which many online education advocates are too quick to blame the students. 

But there are many varieties of self-discipline, just as there are many varieties of learning and many varieties of good teaching.  And many answers to this increasingly complex and important question:
Who shares responsibility for students' failure or success?

Too often, self-administered or other readiness assessments are used primarily to direct students away from online courses. This is certainly more humane than accepting high failure and dropout rates for those students who lack certain traits, skills, or knowledge - especially time-management and computer-related skills. But there is a potentially more constructive alternative than either redirection or the old “sink or swim” approach to campus-based college-level courses.

Most institutions of higher education have abandoned “sink or swim”. Many institutions are committed to helping students develop more effective learning skills, and to helping faculty teach in ways more likely to engage students actively in their courses and succeed academically. These colleges and universities make guidance and other forms of academic support readily available to undergraduates who find some required or highly attractive courses too difficult or puzzling. And those resources are often provided by staff, peers, or other academic professionals who are not directly affiliated with these challenging courses.

Can’t similar services be provided for online students? Provided by someone other than the lead teacher of the course?

We believe the answer is “yes”. But there are some big challenges... See future postings here in TLT-SWG.

Some self-tests for prospective online students:

Smartermeasure "Smartermeasure Integration Survey Report 2011"

"SmarterMeasure is not a predictive tool. Rather it is a diagnostic tool to identify students who are at-risk of not doing well in online and/or technology rich courses due to measured sets of traits, skills and knowledge.."Smartermeasure can direct students who have completed the survey to specific 'Remedial Resources' provided by SmarterMeasure and/or the institution that is using the survey.Georgia On My Line - uses Smartermeasure
Lesley Univ. Online Readiness Survey (self-administered, self-scored PDF)
Self Evaluation for Potential Online Students

Photo of "Italian Monk, scanned from 19th century book,"  from "A Photographic Trip Around the World by J.A. Bradley, published by John W. Iliff & Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1892. Copyright expired."
"Original caption:  MONK, ITALY. - Monasticsm primarily meant the state of dwelling alone; and then, by an easy and natural transition, it came to denote a life of poverty, celibacy and divine obedience under fixed rules of discipline. The radical idea of the term, in all its varieties of age, creed and country, is the same, namely, retirement from society in search of some ideal life, which society cannot supply, but which is thought attainable by self-denial and withdrawl from the world. The picture represents an Italian monk in funeral attire."
"This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923."

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