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.
- 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.
- 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.