I haven’t posted since September here! I plead pressure of work: three courses in the Fall term with a total of about 300 students and teaching assistants assigned to only one course leaving me to interact with about 200 on my own.
This is less a complaint than a description of the nature of online teaching in this world where budgets for education are not exempt from the ongoing financial constraints of the modern world. I was also writing in my other, parallel universe where I am a poet and in a third parallel universe where I write popular histories.
This term I have two online courses, having lost one to a full time instructor – the only teaching I do [did] in front of a live class. One class has 90 students, the other 130 – though I do have one Teaching Assistant for the larger class. So, an easy term.
Today I posted a welcome, where I gave newbies to the world of online courses a quick rundown of the parts of the D2L Courselink site they must pay attention to and where I provided contact information – my email, my Skype address and the open ‘ask your instructor’ forum.
I shall continue as I have begun, frequent and irregular contact with students as a whole and individually.
Well…… by that I mean, I do not force my interaction with students, whether the whole class, or individuals into timed boxes. As in.. I never, never, never set a specific time of the week or hour when I will answer queries or communicate in any other way. I interact with students often, but when needed… where appropriate… to guide discussion in a good direction, or to put out flame wars, or to add information that occurs to me as students interact with me….. flexibility is the trick….