1.In your blog share some of your reflections of what you have learned this week.
This week was pretty helpful, way more than “week zero” where I felt stranded, floating at sea. I learned basic, basic guidelines and tenets for running an online class, which is more than I knew previous to the MOOC. Didn’t even know the words “synchronous and asynchronous” as applied to online teaching tools.

2.You may also want to tell us what you have liked so far this week .
I liked that the coordinators’ posts had links to clear, step-by-step resources and suggestions. I watched part of the blackboard collaborate webinar, however, and found that one very, very long with a lot of “dead” time that, if cut out, might have made the webinar only 30mins and a little more accessible. At first I felt reading the posts on the Community wall to be overwhelming, but now I am getting better at skimming (vs feeling like I need to pay attention to everything) and being able to pick out what applies.

Activity Reflection
1.What? 1.Briefly describe what you did.
I read a lot. A lot of blogs and Tony Bate’s suggestions as well as the Designing for Learning 10 best practices, where I found useful tips and helped wrap my mind around the vast differences between online and face-to-face. I read the 22 tips from successful online teachers, but found some of those to be too obvious. It is like telling some to “work hard” or be sure to “be prepared.” yeah, its good advice, but “duh” to say it frankly. Any good teacher knows that….so give me something specific, outcome-based, and something I can implement in an activity or unit rather than vague, over-arching guidelines.

2.So what?
So, I am still kind of overwhelmed. I had never even heard of Flipboard before, and still don’t really know how to use it. I still feel very uncomfortable with Blackboard. I think this is a situation when I need some face-to-face in order to master these specific online teaching tools. Face-to-face is how I learn best versus watching a video of someone talking slowly online with lots of pauses and I can’t questions because it is a recording.

3.What now? 1.What changes did you make?
I’m learning how to blog better! Never done it before and know I know what a “kitchen sink” is and other tools of wordpress. thank you so much to those who gave me comments to direct me to these answers.

3.What do you still have to learn?
I read a blog post that summed up the way I felt about certain aspects of online teaching. Yes, I want to be student centered and yes online students want more flexibility and independence, but does that mean I have to cater, cater, cater? Should it be all about their needs and wants or what works in a reasonable, manageable way? Unhappy, over-tired, frazzled instructors are not good ones–how does that help students? I have pulled from his post below….

FIRST SYNDICATION POST SAID: “This idea about letting students go at their own pace scares me some. I need papers in by certain dates; otherwise, my work load becomes impossible. How can I be more flexible for online students? Ugh. I have to give them feedback on their papers, so if they turn in assignments at different times, I’ll lose my marbles. Also, if the class discussions are to help them brainstorm and pre-write, how can they work ahead? Being more flexible on timing sounds a little impossible right now.

This idea about letting students create their own learning experience is throwing me a little. too. Can I create a course where students get to pick and choose which assignments they want to do? Is that possible? Perhaps I can create multiple assignments that would satisfy the learning outcomes. Then, students could pick which assignments to complete. Is that what it means to let them create their own learning experience?”

I also still, after reading the definition and examples over and over and over again, do not feel that I really know what an “artifact” is. Somehow all the instructions I read online are just not sinking into my head. Can someone define an artifact in a “artifacts for dummies” way?