Redoing Online Courses

A student recently asked me if it is less work doing an online course.

Short answer? NO. I often look like this for hours at a time:

owl in front of laptop computer

To have a decent online class, I believe in providing all assignments and course materials, except timed exams, from day one of the course. This means that all grading rubrics, instructional videos, lectures, discussions, etc. not only must be finished but also loaded properly into the school’s software system.

For Spring 2014, I changed one major assignment completely, redid one of two exams, and updated four videos.

For Summer 2014, I want to change a lot more. A LOT MORE. I have a little less than a month before the first day of summer classes, and I’m in the middle of grading final exams and papers, grading late work, advising students, writing letters of recommendation, juggling commencement duties, assessing QEP work, assessing my program, sending off my own research for publication, and locating a partridge in a pear tree.

In other words, it’s really hard to redo an online course with only a month of very interrupted time.

But it’s something that needs to be done. Students want to be engaged. They need content delivered in a comprehensive yet comprehensible manner. With a class on social media, the “right” content changes every few weeks, and I have to figure out how to work in additional tools without sacrificing tried-and-true technologies.

Sure, some professors might still be rocking the same syllabus they used in 1983. That’s not for me, and my students deserve more.


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