Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Online Teaching

Final Blog

    Two years ago I decided to embark on something that was totally out of  my league. I am  a nurse and yes I teach, but in the clinical setting. This journey to become certified as an online instructor has been amazing. The final class was the easiest but I had trouble getting into and allowing my creativity to flow.  Producing digital content was literally pulling all the previously built pieces together into one shell. In that it didn’t require technical skills it requires one to understand how to navigate through blackboard and be able to set things up appropriately. We took our class content from the previous class and further developed it to fit the shell. My class was entitled Introduction to Nursing Leadership.

     Some of the processes were time consuming because it took several attempts to get it to work properly. Overall, I gained the necessary knowledge to be able to set up a class appropriately on Blackboard. This should also be an eye opener for other learning management systems. I had difficulty being creative with this class.I think that was just because I had so much going on at one time. Finishing up with my doctoral degree and breaking in a new CEO on my job has been draining. But I am confident that when I design my online courses that they will be creative and attractive to the learner.

     This journey has been well worth it. It has allowed me to accomplish a goal I set for myself. In addition, it has taken away that fear of technology that I entered the certification program with. I look forward to teaching nurses in the online environment. I am glad I decided to take this journey and explore an area that was so unfamiliar to me.

I am ready for the next chapter in my life.



Monday, January 21, 2013

Producing Digital Content

Final Segment to Online Teaching Certificate

     This segment of the online teaching certification program is producing digital content is what I have been waiting. At the conclusion of this course I expect to be able to compile all the components of an online course together and set up course structure on the learning management systems (LMS), blackboard.

     Learning to use LMS’s tools is very important to successful creation and delivery of course materials. So my hope is that the LMS tools are not very technical and I am able to quickly grasp hoe to effectively utilize them.

     Having a well-designed course is only half the battle. The course has to be constructed to facilitate student engagement. Upon completion of this course I want to have a clear concept of how to engage students and make the overall learning experience for the students and myself a positive one.

    Interactive is a keyword with online class development. Having interaction in face to face for me is easily accomplished.  To accomplish this feat in the online environment can be a bit challenging. Designing interactive components is integral to the design. The process has begun but needs to be perfected by the end of this course. I am excited to be reaching the climax of online teaching certification.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

     The journey down course design road was a bit bumpy at times. I have to say I really didn’t know what to expect.  Overall, it was an enjoyable course. I have to admit that there is a lot of consideration that goes into the design that I had not thought of. For example everything connects from the objectives to the assessment.

     Designing the course was done in a step by step process. I have written objectives before but workshops or seminars which written the same as for a class but its less content. The writing of objectives for a course gets a bit challenging because you have course objectives and lesson objectives.

     You have to consider learner and non-learner issues with the design. Non-learner issues are those things that deal with the design itself. The books that will be used to other resources, assignments that align with objectives and assessments are all part of the non-learner issues. Then there are the learner issues. These issues are directly related to learner like their age or geographical location.

Selecting assessments that align with the learning objectives and learning activities is a component of the design that flows like a face to face class. Using diagnostic assessments can be challenging in the online environment requiring the distant learner to seek places where he/she can take proctored examinations. Formative assessment is important in academia whether it be face to face or online. This type of assessment gives the learner an idea of their accomplishments and areas in need of more attention.

     Content presentation included three areas of interaction student-content interaction, student-student interaction and student-instructor interaction. Each of these areas has to be addressed in the design. They need to connect with the learning objectives and activities of learning in the course. The design of the course should allow for adequate interactions to facilitate understanding of content, community building and instructor evaluation of student progress.

     The difficulty of this course for me was writing to the design. If I just had to design the course and not write a paper based on the steps of the design the challenge would have been less. I don’t think I am a bad writer but the specifics needed for this paper kept throwing me off. It also made me read a lot more because the leaner, non-learner issues were not simple to understand. Coming from leadership to academia makes you put on a different hat and look at things from a different perspective.

The review process of the design class was very interesting. I think I had the same challenge with the review that I had with the design. Proofreading is one of my strong points but I missed content issue on the paper I reviewed. Again it was about the structure of the paper that gave me a headache.

     Design worksheets were done for the first three lessons of the course. This process taught us how to link everything together from the learning objectives to the learning activities. The items that were designed for the content areas of the paper were plugged into the design via these worksheets. The assessments were also a part of the worksheets. The worksheets are like a blue print for each lesson and serve as guide for each lesson.

Overall, I count the experience as being a successful one. Writing to the design is hopefully something I won’t have to do again, but in the event that I have I think I am better prepared to do so. I’m ready for the last and final course of online certification and then ready to be a successful online instructor.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Online Course Design

Designing Online Courses

     The next step to online certification has arrived. This class deals with design of the courses and I am on tiptoes of anticipation for what this class will add to my knowledge of online teaching. Having not taught in the online environment it will be interesting to see the difference in preparing an online class to a traditional class. Thus far I have learned both learning and teaching styles along with how to work with different learning styles.  Facilitating the course in a live session was a great experience that brought periods of anxiety and hopefulness. In the end my partner and I had a successful session. I had a better understanding of when to use summative or formative assessment after facilitating.  Learning to design the course will put another notch in my belt.

The previous online classes taught me that design needs to follow an organized format; the lecturette and resources need to be reflective of lesson topic, checking links in design is an ongoing process and that the format should be easy for the student to follow.

Upon completion of this design course I expect to know not only how to design my classes but be able to make them both challenging and interactive. I also hope to have a better feeling about group projects, because they are important and I need to utilize them in my design. Strategies for learning and applying best practices to the online environment are also amongst the things I intend on adding to repertoire of knowledge.



Monday, April 2, 2012

End of Part two Blog

Climbing the ladder for online teaching certification one step at a time.
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      Part two of ONTL 651 has been a delightful experience. It started off with a lesson on pedagogy which is the art or science of teaching. Then we went into synchronous and asynchronous teaching. I appreciate both types of teaching styles. I believe my creative will blossom in online teaching with repeated exposure. Asynchronous includes such things as lecturette, readings materials and discussion board. The discussion board assignment is designed to evaluate students understanding of the materials. The instructor’s presence on the discussion board is paramount to the survival of the students. That doesn’t mean that a comment has to be made to every student. I see myself have good dialogue with the students adding to their learning experience and them adding to mine. Synchronous sessions are available depending on what learning system your school utilizes. We use both Wimba and Blackboard Collaborate. The live session is a time to have conversation between students and instructor. Live sessions can be challenging for the distant learner. Therefore, timing is important and   they should not all be mandatory. People have busy lifestyles and that is usually why they take online classes.

     Managerial role was presented from two angles setting the stage and the other was managerial role throughout the semester. What I took away from both of these is to stay focused, be organized, make it about the student and have fun. Yes have fun there is no reason why learning should not be fun even for the instructor. The technical role has always been my greatest concern. I’m happy to report that with each and each session I am getting more and more comfortable with technical things. Some technical things are out of the instructor’s control, like problems with the software. Part two definitely added to more limited knowledge of online teaching. The more I learn the more I like the idea of teaching online classes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012



     This facilitation week was most enjoyable, I felt like a real online instructor. I also enjoyed the Wimba live classroom session and got a feel for keeping my presence noted on the discussion board. My partner and I were so excited about facilitating that we built the entire module only to find out that we didn’t need to do all of that. The experience as a whole was a great one. It gave me an even better idea of what online teaching is about because we built the module. Finding appropriate resources for lesson content was challenging but eye opening.

     The synchronous session was approached from the items we were using for our lecturette and other readings. I like to use power points for power points and then elaborate with spoken word. I was pleased with the amount of participants at our live Wimba classroom session and the feedback that we received. I was concerned that there was going to be some technical issues. I played around with Wimba so that I would be comfortable to the functionality. Even still as the class began I was still nervous that something was going to go wrong, sure enough we had a minor glitz the instructor reminded us to start the recording and we still forgot. After then everything was smooth sailing. I talk fast so when teaching I have to pay to pay close attention to how fast I am talking.

     Asynchronous facilitating went well also. I watched the discussion board for a few days giving the students a chance to post and start the dialogues. Then I posted my response and started to reply to some of their post and ask questions to stimulate even deeper thought processes. Lesson learned from this was when teaching I need to set days of the week for initial post, that way all students will have an opportunity to get responses to their initial post.
   This experience has me on tiptoes of anticipation of having my own online classes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

End of Part One Blog

      Class two leading to certification to teach online starting with and overview to online teaching. During this time we were reminded of what we learned last semester and what to look forward in this class. We added something to our introduction that the class didn’t know from last semester. I was pleased that my thoughts of facilitating were validated and enhanced. The reading materials helped me to process facilitating online and begin to prepare for my teams urn at being the facilitators.
     Looking further into blogging was a plus. I found blogs related to my current work that were very interesting and even had some helpful hints that I could use. Reading other blogs assisted me with my decisions of how to incorporate blogging in my classes. I do have some ideas but I am not sure if I would use blogging directly or just have the students to blog.
     Changing roles from classroom teaching to online can be a challenge. I thought my greatest challenge was going to be relationship building with my students. I learned from last semester that building online relationships is not hard at all. Adding a picture to introduction blogs puts a face to the name, and hearing voices in the live classroom compliments the written introduction.
Time to prepare to facilitate I will let you all know how it turns out. Peace