Week 19’s entry the old fashioned way
I love the idea of completely open courses, but the problems of exam integrity still sways me to keep my exams and quizzes on a password protected CMS where hopefully only registered students can take them. I have heard horror stories of universities with large lecture hybrid courses having to check student I.D. cards upon entering to take face to face exams. That sounds horrible!
My experiences with online courses and open source course material
I teach fully online but it is through a CMS and is not open. I also keep an open blog for my face to face courses where I post the class Powerpoint slides, song lists and interesting links. Anyone can see my blog. BTW, it is from the information and philosophies I have learned from this cohort that I decided to create the class blog and post the class information there. I used to be one of the instructors who thought doing so would give students a reason to skip class, but I haven’t noticed much of a difference in attendance either way. Those students who want to skip class will do so regardless of the Powerpoint slides. I do like how this has allowed for more in-class discussion, song analysis and video viewing than in previous terms.
The text reading was very general. I would like some case studies or specific examples of hybrid or blended successes.
I am concerned about the various hybrid definitions from campus to campus. I was approached by a dept. chair very recently about converting my face to face course to a hybrid course. I said it was an option and that I was capable and supportive of this type of change. One thing that was said was, “Once courses are offered as hybrid they can all be large lecture”. This concerns me. Large lecture is not ideal for hybrid courses, nor fully online courses. It seems that online/hybrid is an enticing way to pack more students for the buck for some campuses. How does this best serve the students?
With regards to using campus CMS’s as a repository for files and nothing else, I do this as well for my face to face courses. I have been told that if I put too much in the CMS or require students to use it that my course would have to be listed as a hybrid course in the official catalog offering and class schedule. This seems like a slippery slope and a bit of a catch 22. If I try to integrate more online activity I may get in trouble, but if I do not, I am not really using the resources at hand the best way I can. P.S. I am not a full time teacher so I am also concerned about keeping my job(s) and have to straddle the fence between best practices and job security.
As much as a seminar environment would be great for online group work as mentioned in the text, group work seems out of the question with 75+ students. I am often teaching freshmen who need lots of hand holding and instruction and it is not feasible with 75+ of them all potentially confused. I would like some ideas please??
The readings this week opened up more concerns for me than answered questions. I am now a convert to open courses on the web, but I find the balance between philosophy and college politics daunting.