Across the globe all schools, universities, and colleges are moving classes online, at least temporarily. While initial talks were about reopening the campuses as normal after a few weeks, it is clear that even when the campuses do open back up, it may be some time before we have exclusively on-campus courses again. Having a supplemented course shell with a basic structure simplifies the communication between lecturer and students as well as between students.
Take it from Ryan Weber, author of the blog post Welcome to Your Hastily Prepared Online Course, shifting an on campus course to remotely teach it with short notice brings bloopers (speaking of bloopers, here is my favorite blooper video currently).
Supplemented course shells
Supplemented course shells clearly are essential for all on-campus courses to provide structure for possible emergencies. The benefits to creating a supplemented course shell include:
What to add
The lecturer can add whatever resources they would normally share with their on-campus course in a supplement course shell, particularly resources they want to copy into a future semester. Over time the course can grow into a robust blended course. Be aware of copyright issues and check in with your local campus library if you are uncertain if you can use a resource online or if you are uncertain how to attribute the resource properly.
Students socialize on campus with peers and the lecturer. When shifting online, the socialization aspect of learning can deteriorate unless the course is designed to include social spaces. Students connect to peers, content, and the lecturer online often through discussion boards. Hopefully by now lecturers who moved on-campus courses online have found benefits to discussion boards, such as common questions and answers, group work, introductions, etc.
That year online courses became popular
2020 has presented many challenges for education in all sectors. Those already teaching online before 2020 definitely had an edge on those who have never taught online. How online courses are designed is very different from the initial 2020 remote courses which had limited if any planning. Therefore, 2020 is not the year to evaluate online education, but rather to question whether future on-campus courses can really exist without at least having a supplemented course shell.
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I'm a Learning Developer living in the Netherlands. This blog is dedicated to online education and originated with my take on various tools. After my son was born in 2012, I took a break in blogging, but have recently restarted.
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