EDLD 5318 has been an eye-opening course for me. I never realized how much thought and work it takes to design an online course. I do appreciate how each course in this DLL program through Lamar University builds upon knowledge gained in previous courses. My goal is to create multiple online mini-courses or units that teach technology concepts that the core subject teachers can use in their classes.
For my previous course, I created a UbD plan. That plan proved to be invaluable as I started designing my online course. The UbD was the base for everything I put together. I strayed a little from the original UbD, but for the most part, it remained intact. I discovered that revisions are a large part of online course design. In fact, I’m sure there will be countless updates to the course I designed after its implementation.
I believe all three Instructional Design learning theories have their place in online course design. There may need to be some behaviorism components to the course. Students might need to know vocabulary words or math facts that are best learned through repetition. I included a few behaviorist qualities when I was designing my online course. I also included some cognitivism aspects to my course by using a variety of learning strategies to reach all of the students. The bulk of my online course was based on the constructivism theory. This is the theory that I learn best with. I learn by doing, so it makes sense my course would be constructed by utilizing the learning theory that works for me. The constructivist theory puts the student in control of his/her learning. Student-centered learning is the goal for 21st-century educators. My wish is to become a facilitator rather than a teacher. I feel as though my online course will allow me to do just that.
Times are changing. With all the technology available today, there will be more online learning offered, as it should be. When the students we are teaching today enter the workforce they will be expected to understand technology. The knowledge base is constantly changing. I work at a junior high school. I don’t think this age group is quite ready for 100% online learning courses. Besides the fact that social interaction is crucial at this age, I believe they just don’t quite have the maturity level to complete courses on their own. If given the choice of playing a computer game versus completing an online assignment, for quite a few, the game wins.
Bates (2015) says that you must know your learners. I agree with this 100%. Knowing my junior high students means a hybrid course would probably work better for them than 100% online. However, since my goal is to become a technology coach, online learning would be perfect for staff members I would be working with. Know your learners. I know that teachers are busy and would appreciate the flexibility and convenience that comes with online learning. Online learning can be self-paced and the teachers could choose what they want to learn about.
My takeaways from this course are many. Besides knowing my learners, I need to know what they want/need to learn. When designing online courses I must start with a goal in mind and build from there. There are different models to use such as ADDIE, SECTIONS, etc. Online courses need to present material in a variety of ways to accommodate different learning styles. Olmanson (2014) says the combination of content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technical knowledge creates an innovative teacher. When integrating technology one should start with what they know and utilize learning communities and collaboration to improve their technology skills. Use open educational resources, they are free! Probably the most impactful understanding I leave with is how important it is to work with teams. The teamwork idea supports my innovation plan. I am learning all I can to support my bid for becoming a technology coach. Bates said that working with a content expert, a technical expert, and a media expert will yield the best results when creating online courses. This is my future. I want to be the technology and media expert and team up with the content experts (the teachers) to create meaningful learning for our students.
Bates, A.W. (2015) Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/
Justin Olmanson. (2014, May 29). Thinking about classroom technology integration via the TPaCK framework [video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/GPoqKg5KOo8
LIST OF A FEW SUCCESSFUL ONLINE PROGRAMS
IUniversity Prep This is for Texas residents. There are eligibility requirements. Offered by Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. It is free public education. Students must still take the STAAR test and End of Course exams at a physical school building within 150 miles of their location. FREE!
Everfi Online courses for many different subjects. Most of their courses are free. I have used the Digital Literacy and Responsibility online course with my 6th-grade students and plan to use a few more before the school year ends. FREE!
Applied Digital Skills Online courses from Google Education. These are interactive courses that use videos, discussions, and surveys. I have used these in my classes and will definitely use more of their courses offered. FREE!
Exploros Social Studies online curriculum. I have not used this personally, but the Social Studies teachers at my school use it and love it. The teacher acts as the facilitator as the students navigate through Social Studies lessons. Sorry, NOT FREE.
iTunes University (available through the iTunes app) It’s sort of tricky to access iTunes University at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad. Online educational content from schools, museums, and cultural institutions can be found here. FREE!