Where to From Here?
I had the privilege of learning from my colleagues Trevor, Jen, and Gerod through their presentation of their courses.
Trevor highlighted his physed course which was built in Microsoft OneNote as a workbook. It was very interesting for me to see how he used a tool I had only used for document collection and organization to create online learning. One of the strong benefits of the use of OneNote notebooks is that he could view and add to all of his students notebooks in one place and they could respond to a variety of types of prompts and activities inside their notebooks allowing him to view their results. As well, Trevor was working on creating instructional videos using WeVideo, a tool I have not previously used.
Jen’s course was incredibly in depth. Ultimately she had created a course within a course as she created an instructional module for teachers which contained a grade five unit. The use of seesaw to host student learning activities gave me my first in depth overview of that tool which was helpful. It was a well designed, engaging tool.
Finally, Gerod presented his asynchronous Outdoor Ed module in which he incorporated a variety of types of learning materials. He used peardeck to make his powerpoint presentation interactive asynchronously to encourage engagement with the content. I also liked how he could embed full websites into his slidedeck using peardeck. I think this would be very useful for providing extra reading or research resources for students for optional review. Gerod had also made a great instructional video which made good use of timelapse footage. I learned a lot about bears.
In exploring my own course I identified a number of areas which I can improve. While I have formatted the course in Canvas, I believe that it will be better suited to a website. As an asynchronous course meant to supplement formal university studies a website will give it access without any need for direct enrollment. I am planning on creating a wordpress site as they are compatible with integrating Articulate Storyline content which I developed for my course. I have not used Wordpress in a while and am interested to go back to it.
I have often heard that with Wordpress it is worthwhile to pay for a custom site template. Have others found this to be the case? If you went with a free template which one and did you like it?
The presentations by my peers inspired me to think about how I can make my course more interactive. I had planned on incorporating a map of philosophical concepts and thinkers based in padlet for viewing but I am going to change it to an interactive experience that learners can add to and expand.
I am not sure what would happen though, if in an open course like this, someone went in and “vandalized” or erased my padlet. I am wondering if all the hard crowdsourced work would be lost or if it could revert to an earlier version?
I am also considering incorporating other interactive activities using other tools into the website. I was inspired by how my peers pushed their comfort zones with technology and created very polished, comprehensive learning units. I would like to expand the type of content that I incorporate into my website.
The above images all represent my processes of reflecting on the future of my online course.
I am also planning on taking Alec’s advice and hosting my videos on YouTube and linking them into my site so they do not have to be hosted there. This will also expand the open access of my course materials to those on YouTube who do not even access my course site directly.
I am looking forward to continuing to build my course and seeing what others come up with.
The cover art and first image above are Paul Cézanne's in a Yellow Chair. Other images are Vincent van Gogh's The Drinkers, and Julia Margaret Cameron's Mrs. Herbert Duckworth. I got them all from the Art Institute of Chicago's website with a search of public domain images in their archive at https://www.artic.edu/collection