January 2019

Teaching Online Graduate Courses for Teachers

This semester I am teaching an online course in our fully online MEd in Science Education Cohort: This is very exciting as my colleagues and I have been working for a long time to make our dream of having a graduate online science education cohort become a reality. I also have heard from my colleagues that the previous course went really well. So I am looking forward to teaching the course and getting to know the teachers!

I have spent a lot of time preparing my online course for this cohort: Teaching Mathematics and Science through Technology. And now, as I am teaching it, I am trying to reflect on the challenges I face as an online instructor and think how I can overcome them and how I can make the next course even better. I am also trying to monitor my own time used for teaching this course: I record the time I spend on the course in an Excel sheet to know for myself how it goes. This will also help me to make sure that teaching two courses a term and doing research would be a doable task for me. The worst thing is to burn out and not to be able to enjoy teaching.

While preparing, I found an interesting article about it “Online Teaching: 4 Unique Challenges and How to Solve Them” by Karen Quevillon (from January 2018). So here is a brief summary of the challenges as she sees them (the papers suggests some solutions):

  1. Disengaged – passive students
  2. Responding to students’ questions
  3. Encouraging student collaboration
  4. Technical difficulties

I also decided to look online for professional development resources on online teaching. Here is one that I found useful. I think they give some practical suggestions and while I do not believe in the “best practice”, I do think that becoming familiar with some teaching ideas that others found useful is helpful:

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