Yesterday was the Online Forum in which I was able to share my lib100 class with interested faculty. It was a well attended session, with about 30 people at peek attendance, and we covered a wide range of topics. I expected to be asked to delve into my course to show some specific examples and student work, but interestingly discussion stayed at a much more general level, and after I presented there wasn’t much more need for me to speak.
If you’re interested in my talk, I focused around three themes: a lot of thought went into the design and implementation of the course, doing this well takes time and small class sizes, the students in my class are getting a much more personalized education than the ones in my typical classes. I’m actually not sure how on-message I was, given the timing of the forum, but I managed to get a few laughs and for the most part people seemed open to the idea. Here are the slides:
Afterwards, Stephanie Pellet of the french department spoke about her experience at the University of Texas at Austin contributing to an online textbook. Stephanie has long been an advocate of increasing the use of collaborative tools in the classroom and has done some incredibly innovative work using library provided blogs and wikis. She’s published on the work she’s done in her field’s journals of the scholarship of teaching and learning as well.
David John, from computer science, wrapped up with a discussion of courses being televised across several campuses with a local group of Wake Forest students participating from here. The system they used allowed the professor at a distance to see individuals at all sites and allowed our students to have access to professors withexpertiseoutside of those offered by our own department.
With one or two exceptions, the conversation was mostly positive and focused on higher level issues such as “what is online education?” given the continuum of electronically enhanced teaching tools, “what is the role of the teacher?” and “how do we prepare students for today’s world?” I was also particularly struck that copyright came up as well. Who owns the content that’s created for an online course? There was discussion of who would make royalties off of the content. We never even got to the point of discussing the OpenCourseWare movement, something that I hope we can begin discussing as Online becomes less threatening. So, now we wait to see what comes next. And I keep trucking along with this course. Speaking of which, I have some grading to do!