Over 2 years ago, I started a MOOC addressing instructor and social presence in online courses, “Human Element: An Essential Online Course Component” (see my post on this). Ultimately, I had to dial back my involvement in the MOOC and dabble in the content. Today I started the updated version of this MOOC, now called “Humanizing Online Instruction: The #HumanMOOC,” that runs from today through mid-January. I anticipate that most of the course will be review for me based on all of my exposure to this topic in my graduate coursework, professional readings, the first round of this MOOC, and other professional development. That said, as I continue to work on revising LS 101 (Introduction to Academic Library Research), it is important for me to be reminded of the nuances and be exposed to new and different strategies for executing these concepts.
Just in the opening webinar recording in the course, I picked up some great ideas I have never heard of before (thank you to Michelle Pancasky-Brock for these!). These include these two that I would like to consider for LS 101:
- Create a Wisdom Wall on VoiceThread where you invite students at the end of a course to leave comments on the following prompt for students at the beginning of the next section to view/hear: “How were you feeling at the start of this class and what do you know now that you wish you had known then?”
- Make a Google Slides presentation that contains a blank slide with each student’s name on it. Provide them with a prompt (I’m thinking of having them do their introductory post this way – upload a picture that represents you, introduce yourself, and give an example of a situation where having accurate information is essential) and instructions for accessing and editing their slide. The completed presentation can be uploaded into VoiceThread for commentary (or, for a different prompt, you could have each student draft a reflective response based on the slide deck as a whole and post it to their blogs).
According to the course documents, the learning objectives for this MOOC are:
- Evaluate the use of several asynchronous tools that enhance teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence to meet the needs of learners who choose distance learning for the sake of convenience.
- Evaluate and choose the audio/video screen-casting tool that will be used for providing learners feedback via video.
- Develop a sample course announcement using audio and/or video to include in a comprehensive course communication plan.
- Consider and reflect on digital citizenship and how to demonstrate good citizenship using instructor presence.
- Experiment with new methods of monitoring and managing student progress.
- Develop course goals and outcomes communications.
- Develop a personal action plan explaining the new communication strategies to enhance instructor, cognitive, and social presence that will be included in the learners’ future courses.
- Explore the use of problem-based learning/project-based learning and triggering events that can build learners problem resolution strategies to deepen cognitive presence.
- Demonstrate how technology interactions can make instructors and learners more “real” online and how these interactions have an influence on learning.
Depending on the relevance of each activity to my needs, I may not personally achieve all of these objectives in these coming weeks (and that’s the beauty of a MOOC!).