Today more and more courses are given on the Web. The old personal interaction between teachers and students are disappearing. I feel that this is sad.
If one has a course with hundreds of students a Web course is appropriate. The managers at universities are also often happy with web courses because one teacher can manage a lot of students and hourly paid teachers are not needed. I personally have almost 1000 students that I manage in 6 months.
Many students like web courses because then they can work fulltime and still do their studies. Are they engaged for taking the courses, I have seen that if the subject of the course is interesting or needed in industry, they happily work with the course I have Basic Excel course that is totally free and not part of any program and it has 400 to 600 students that enrol. I feel vet appreciated which is a good feeling.
When a teacher has only web courses the teacher never has to visit the university. The university building might get somewhat scary, and the working room of the teacher is unfamiliar and feels empty. In the university lecture rooms are disappearing and the corridors are empty. The rooms might be rented out and the teacher can be afraid of entering a room as there might be strangers working.
The interaction with students during a course I feel is important, the connection on a Web course can be via video meetings, email or other devices. I feel most secure with using email as it is a reliable way to connect to students. Using tools as MS Teams or Zoom works usually well but there is a risk that the lines break down as it did when I visited the reflection clinic on ONL.
The ONL course has so far not been very nice. It has been hard to find material on the web pages and I have not learnt anything. MOOC courses are coming but I feel that if they should work, they must be set up with great care so that everything is working, the students know what do and then a step-by-step approach is often working well according to my view, and experiences.
One has also to remember with Web courses that there are different subjects and the so-called hard subjects where there is a real truth or fact that has to be given out differs from discussion based more soft courses. For example, subtotals in a list can be made in Excel in only one way. The issue of how a consumer interacts with a shop assistant in a shop, is something that can be made in many ways and there is no real truth on what way is the best. I have had both kinds of courses as online courses and I see that hard subject courses are working better on the Web. In discussion-based courses students might argue that they do not learn anything, and it is the same if they discuss in break-out rooms on the Web or in the class.
One response to “Topic 2”
I very much agree that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, regardless of the mode of teaching. Different courses may require a different design, and vary in terms of structure, pace, and collaboration among peers, as well as in the interaction with teachers and facilitators. Regarding learner-centredness, I do share your concerns in the context of MOOCs, particularly since there is hardly any time for meaningful learner-teacher interaction if hundreds or thousands of students are taking a massive open online course. While some sources (particularly ones published in the early 2000s) claim that masses of students can be accommodated, and that teachers can provide individual support, I strongly believe that the teacher-student ratio should be taken carefully into account, to maintain high-quality teaching and to offer valuable learning experiences. In my opinion, this is particularly important for courses which require argumentation, analytical and critical thinking, and overall, a meaningful exchange of ideas and intellectual input. On a positive note, I am happy that our ONL222 is not a MOOC.