I just started my first online “course” as a student, a two-week “Boot Camp for Teaching Online” offered through my university’s online teaching instructional design folks. I’ve been teaching online courses for at least five years–at least that’s as far back as my most accessible notes go. But this will be my first experience as a student in an online course.
I signed up for this course because I thought it would help me become a better online teacher, and I am sure it will; however, my initial response is one that I may not be a good candidate for online learning.
Much of the introductory material is presented using video, and I’ve confirmed my sense that I don’t like watching videos to learn content. I so much prefer reading material. I imagine that’s a generational thing. I find I often leave a website if there isn’t a text option to accompany a video: I want the choice, and more often than not I choose to read rather than watch and listen.
When I first taught online, I created “podcast” lectures to introduce material and weekly introductory mini lectures and provided audio feedback for major papers, and I continue to do so. But I haven’t yet produced videos, and I don’t really want to do so. I know many of my students watch videos, and I include them as part of my courses but I don’t want to be a talking head.
I’ve long been an early adopter of technology in life and in my teaching. I even fancy myself a bit of a geek. I’ve developed screencasts to help introduce students to new technologies, used blogs in my classes, and assigned students audio and video projects, so it’s not fear of the unknown. I’m willing to be convinced that I need to move to video instruction, and perhaps this boot camp will do just that. Until then, I’ll stick to old school online instruction.