At this point in the semester, I’ve submitted the design document for my online course. I received some very helpful feedback from both my peer reviewer and my instructor. I used that feedback to revise and finalize my design document. Now, I’ve started creating my online course. This experience has been eye opening.
One thing that I quickly realized is that designing an online course from scratch is a lot of work! I have had to think about how to effectively convey information to students, how to engage students with the course content, and how to create a sense of community all without relying on face-to-face communication (Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT), 2016). This has definitely been the most challenging part for me. I am used to teaching in a face-to-face environment and have struggled with how I can adjust my style and the content to work in a solely online environment. I hope that the design decisions I’ve made are successful.
One thing that seems to have worked well for me is that I started creating my content early. I decided to begin by creating my video scripts and then transitioned to recording them. I used the pro-version of Screencast-O-Matic to do this and it was super easy. They have a very nice feature titled scripted recordings, which allows you to first upload a text file, record the script, then go back and record the video while you listen to the script. I think this feature streamlined my work and saved me a lot of time. In previous experiences, I had difficulty recording the audio and video simultaneously.
Throughout this course design process, I shared course content with my work colleagues for their feedback and input. It’s been very helpful having an outside perspective. They’ve caught errors that I overlooked, identified unclear content and pointed out potential navigation issues. Luckily, most of the items needing redesign have been minor, such as grammar. At this point, my peer reviewer hasn’t had a chance to review my course but I look forward to hearing the feedback and hope that it is positive. I also haven’t had a chance to provide my peer reviewer with my feedback on her course. I am looking forward to seeing her design choices and sharing my input. I know that when I do receive feedback it will only help me improve my course design.
Overall, I’ve learned that there are many nuances to designing online courses, such as determining the best method for sharing course information – using a discussion post, an announcement, or an email? Once I’ve decided on the method, I then need to determine and schedule the best time for students to share their ideas. I now realize that online course design requires a lot of advance planning (OEIT, 2016). There are many pieces that need to come together as a cohesive whole. I still have a lot of work to do, but I believe this course will come together, and that it will be a great learning experience for me.
Office of Educational Innovation and Technology. 2016. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved from http://dltoolkit.mit.edu/