Reflection – Online Teaching for Adult Learners

The most significant things I will take away from this course and immediately use in my online teaching is how to adapt to my institutions resource levels and new web 2.0 tools. Currently, I teach high school students in a traditional learning environment, and teachers in online continuing education. Two of the continuing education courses are on Google Drive, and Google Apps.  The institution I teach through does not have any type of collaborative software system, so all of my teaching is done through Gmail, Google chat, and Google Drive. This course is a class where students can join at any time and go at their own pace. Because of this, most students are at different stages of the course, and all of my instruction is done through videos, reading, and collaboration with me on their documents.

Susan Ko and Steve Rossen’s book, “Teaching Online – A Practical Guide” has been a great resource that evaluates the three typical resource and readiness levels of institutions. When developing a course, it is important to know which phase your institution is in, so that your expectations, assignments, and collaboration all align with what your institution’s network and support can handle. They not only describe what those levels look like, but they also offer solutions to help you tailor your course to the available resources to increase your chances of being a successful online instructor.

The other portion of this course I will find immediately applicable are the variety of different web 2.0 tools my classmates integrate into their teaching. One great tool I was unaware of is Google Docs voice recording. I use Google Drive for all of my communication with my continuing education students, and this voice recording will give me another way to easily communicate with them.

Ko, S., Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching online: A practical guide.(3rd ed.) New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group

Reflection #3

The past three weeks in EdTech 522,  we have been planning, designing, and facilitating a unit in a LMS (Learning Management System) testing site called Moodle. Before this module in EdTech 522, I did not have any experience using an LMS site as an administrator. My only knowledge of any LMS site has come from being a student at Boise State University’s EdTech program and using Moodle for the courses I am taking.

The most difficult part about creating this unit was becoming familiar with how to create different types of assignments, and the overall flow & organization of the course. From my experience of taking courses online, I have found that the course organization and differentiation of assignments has been key to my learning. Therefore, I put a lot of effort in making sure my unit was easy to follow and the type of assignments vary.

When I was having issues with organizing my unit, I searched videos on YouTube and used the Moodle support page to problem solve. Both of these were very helpful in resolving my issues and it was great to be able to choose between watching videos or reading.

Currently, I teach a few classes through an online institute and I really enjoy it. However, this institute does not have an LMS available for instructors to use, so I use Google Drive to run all of my courses. After creating a unit in Moodle, I am intrigued and wish that my institute would switch to using Moodle to manage their system. Once you play around with the administrative tools of Moodle, it becomes very user-friendly and seems like a great way to instruct students.