The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Posted by Seeking Solace |

A few days after I have submitted grades and had a chance to decompress, I sit down and do an end of course autopsy. I think about what worked and what didn't work during the semester and what things I would like to implement the next time.  This semester was very different. First, it was the my return to teaching after a crazy year. It was also the first time that I taught business law online. Finally, it was the first time teaching at HBCU.

The good:

  • I have not lost my style or teaching mojo. It was like ridding a bike. Of course, I've taught this particular course for 10 years. I could teach it in my sleep!
  • I incorporated things into the course that I had not used when I taught the course live. I like having the discussion forums to allow all students to have a voice. The students really enjoyed the topics that I selected. 
  • I think incorporating the audio with the PowerPoint helped the students. They indicated that they liked how I would give several examples. They also wished I would teach the course on ground.  
The not so good
  • I did not use my 'no late work accepted" policy. I wish I had not done that. I wanted to see how things would go with HBCU, so I thought easing in would be the best option. Major fail. The reason why I do the "no late work accepted" policy is to set boundaries and standards. Needless to say, it drove me crazy with the amount of work I had to do. The policy has worked well for me in the past. Students accept the way that I roll and it makes for an easier time for everyone. So, I will go back to what I know works. 
  • 16/25 students failed the course, mainly because they did not do the work. That is a little high, but I think it's mainly an issue of students who really have no business taking online courses in the first place. Not sure how to deal with that, particularly when I get zero help from administrators.
  • Book issues were a huge problem. There was a huge disconnect with which edition of the textbook was required for the course. Since I was hired at the last minute, I didn't have a say in that process. Now, that I have some time, I will make sure that there is no question as to which edition must be used. I am not going to consult three different editions to set up assignments again! 
  • I need to do a better job of consulting with the library and others for projects. Normally, I am working with the library to ensure that students have what they need for the project. I also made some assumptions about what students know, i.e. how to write a research paper. Again, I think I was so caught up in trying to master Moodle that I let those things slide.
  • That being said, I may rethink what I normally do for a project. I have some ideas, but I think I may have to consult with the library. 
All in all, I would give my online teaching experience a "B minus". Not bad, but not good either. I have some time before the next semester starts, so I think I will do some planning to make the next semester a better experience. 


ernise said...

Some have believe the fallacy that online courses are easier, but they are sadly mistaken. Online courses are just as rigorous, sometimes even moreso, than face-to-face courses. There's so much more the instructor has to account for in an online course and students take for granted.

Glad you enjoyed it, for the most part!

Psycgirl said...

What a great idea! I'm going to do this too