Week 7: The Online Classroom

I have been connected to the world at large via the internet most of my working career, and this POT is just a continuation of that. Pedagogy First! is a community; but different, like Claire Major stated “community in an online class is something of a different animal that other kinds of community that we think about as teachers” I agree.

Lisa Lane’s post; she talks about how sometimes a community forms or it doesn’t regardless of whether she as instructor participate welcoming students or not, and Lisa go on to state the level of student success in the forums doesn’t seem affected by which way it goes.

Even in my own experience in college, sometimes a f2f class with the right group would get very social and we would just start working together helping each other with homework , I met my lifelong friends in class in college, but most of my classes even if we had group projects never became a community, but also that never interfered with my level of success in a course.

I always felt I succeeded in class, a low course grade for me only reflected my ability to respond to an exam, not my ability to learn and acquire knowledge. This thinking help me do very well in college.

In this POT I have a sense of community, but again like Claire Major stated , “community of a different animal”; but that does not reflect the level of information and knowledge I have acquired by participating in this POT. I’m participating in this POT for a reason, to expand my knowledge-base; so I do have a level of expectation for community as it relates to supporting community around this POT; a shared goal of participants and teacher to respect this community learning environment.

One of the things I have most appreciated in this POT is the discussions about stating the rules of engagement for your online class, how your class will operate and expectation. Pedagogy First! has given me a good example for that.

I think college online or on-ground the atmosphere should have an expectation of, you are here not because you have to be, but since you’re here you must want to expand your knowledge-base, so participate!

Pilar Hernández said… get in there with the students and engage them, I agree; but who has the biggest burden teacher or student to say if a knowledge transfer happen between a course and a student?

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Week 6: Internet Skills and Tools

I attended the SLOAN-C conference this week where Sebastian Thrun,  delivered a keynote address about MOOCs, and Udacity a company he co-founded ; some of you may be  familiar with the company and website, if not I invite you to please go check it out, really really good stuff.

Listing to his keynote address which was mostly about online learning, it’s revolution and his journey into the realm of online teaching; his address reconfirmed my thinking that all f2f courses should provide a blended approach to learning, like a lot of the information provided to us in this POT. Combining the two approaches to f2f learning; meaning adding the meticulous details that is involved in developing an online course or redesigning f2f courses that this POT is laying out for us and blend it for on the ground teaching.

Pedagogy First!,   is teaching me what a daunting task it is developing a curriculum and now we want to move it to online … OMG – oh-my-goodness! shoot the provost. Joking right … maybe not?

What are small public universities going to do already cash deficient with faculty overloads?  One solution to enter the online kingdom would be to outsource the whole online program, turn-key it, let a company use your name and you get a cash cow. . . Problem Solved Right. Should we prostitute education just to stay in the game, but is it a game?  There where vendors like car salesman at this conference selling their magic to solve your school’s problems for developing online programs, some would invest all the money if you would give them control.

Maybe with the right approach outsourcing could work, if outsourcing your online programs includ developing a blended approach to your f2f courses and ongoing faculty development, not a buy-in and sell-out approach.  There is something to be said about the on campus college experience and I truly feel online instruction blended with f2f would holistically revolutionize education by creating an environment for continued faculty development that would promote molding our students into lifelong learners.

Sebastian Thrun,  keynote address at the Sloan-C Conference Oct 11, 2012

Sebastian Thrun is co-founder of Udacity, Vice President/Fellow at Google, and a Stanford University research professor.  Thrun was elected into the National Academy of Engineering at the age of 39, after publishing 11 books, over 350 research papers, and after winning numerous scientific awards. In 2011, Thrun resigned from a full professorship at Stanford, after a 15 year career in higher education. At Google, he is in charge of Google X, which is home to the Google self-driving car and the Google Glass project. At Udacity, he has taught the largest online graduate class ever taught, enrolling 160,000 students. Fast Company named him the fifth smartest person in technology; Germany bestowed him with the prestigious Max Planck research award at $1M. Thrun also won the DARPA Grand Challenge, a robotic race organized by the US Department of Defense.

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Week 5: The Online Syllabus

This week reading on creating an effective online syllabus and the ideal of making our syllabus interactive; to come alive by use of hyper-links, images, multimedia vignettes and cues,  I thought was very innovative and a natural progression with using technology to enhance the online class experience, but this can also have great advantages for face-to-face course as well.

The workshops showed how you could virtually teach right from your syllabus; someone in Lisa’s workshop commented that an interactive syllabus would get students to engage your syllabus throughout the duration of the class, I agree.

Lisa’s instruction on layout and formatting of an online syllabus was vary helpfully and important; the experience of  reading online content of any kind is enhanced by good presentation, layout and design, the ease of finding what you need when you need it is critical when using web resources.   Lisa is providing us with so much good information.

For the overachiever for lest that a $100.00 a year you can setup our own website to deliver an interactive syllabus to your students if your institution does not provide proper tools.  Lisa’s stated “your syllabus becomes a living document”; student will give us constant fee-back for continued  improvement of an interactive syllabus.


Ko and Rossen, Chapter 5: Creating an Effective Online Syllabus

I thought this chapter discussed and outlined efficiently  information about developing an effective syllabus for any course format; starting from syllabus as a contract.

Syllabus Contract Statement: Statement that express the relationship  Between students and instructor, laying out the terms of the class interaction – the expected responsibilities and duties, the grading criteria, the musts and don’ts of behavior.

I see the interactive syllabus as a matrix or a schema; a framework representing a system of organizing for receiving new information, providing the basis by which someone relates to the events he or she experiences.

Creating an Effective Online Syllabus:                                                                              Acute develop details of course requirements are even                                                          more important  for an online class syllabus:

  • Expected outcomes
  • Schedule
  • Grading
  • Procedures

Managing Students Expectations: As Ko and Rossen states you should be clear about the expectations of your student, correct any false impressions students may have,  we should express to students upfront what will be the framework (schema) that you as the instructor will be working by, your rules of engagement as instructor, prepare them to prepare for your course journey.

The Map: Allow you syllabus to be the road map as to how your course will unfold guiding students by tasks, activities, course work;  indexed along a chronological timeline.  Incorporating instructional and informational landmarks; pointing out various sections of the syllabus to alert  important  exams, test or projects, providing checks to prompt for help, for guidance if needed.

  • ULRs of your homepage, websites and other online resources.
  • Identifying where to locate tools that will be used in class
  • How assignments will be delivered to instructor
  • Any special instruction on file formats, software
  • Technical support contact information.   

Schedules:                                                                                                                                        I like the idea of laying out the the course by weeks, this gives students a sense of anticipation of what is to follow and stretches out the week proving some flexibility of  online activities, which helps students participating in different times zones.  Also provides consideration for students using public facilities for internet and computer access.      

A Checklist for Online Syllabus: Ko and Rossen

  • Course Information:  Title, Books and Authors, instructor’s names, course number, courser meeting times, term info, syllabus last revised date.
  •  Instructors contact info: office hours online and on the ground, private communication contact info, tech support info.
  •  Detailed course description: prerequisite list or any special requirements for course.
  •  Course objects or expected outcomes: what students can expect to learn by completion of course.
  •  Required texts or materials: any books or material, software needed, defined what is provide by course and what will have to be obtain by student.
  •  Detailed explanation of grading criteria: components of total grade, a list of all exams, major graded assignments,  how or if class participation will be graded,  define grade percentages or points, criteria for a passing grade, policies on late assignments.
  •  Participation standards: statements that defined  participation expectations and grading (rubric could be used).
  •  Procedure processes of the class: organization of the class, instruction on how students should proceed with progression of class activities so they can stay organized, instruction for formatting and processing any material to be turned-in.
  •  Schedules weekly, by-weekly: topics, assignments, reading activities, resources.
  •  Relevant institutional policies: any relevant information about how institution operates, like enrollment process, last day for dropping or adding a class, class attendance policies. 

I know this POT is for developing online instructional skills, but the more I think about what we’re doing here, could bring so much to a face-to-face teaching experience as well,   a lot of the information I have been exposed to in this POT I would try to incorporate even if I was only teaching a face -to-face course.

 Ko and Rossen; Redundancy is often better than elegant succinctness”


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Week 4: Pedagogy and Course Design II

Instructor-generated content: lectures, presentations.

Imagine walking into class and seeing your professor standing in front of a large display screen, and thinking to yourself contently, professor is going to show a presentation. So you settle in thinking you’re going to be able to catch up on a little sleep for the next fifty minutes. But the professor asks if everyone read the last twenty chapters including his blog commentary; last week’s assignment and to your displeasure he begins to lecture.

He began to talk about Alexander Hamilton, steps to one side of the large display screen and touches it with his index finger. A large image of Alexander Hamilton appears and fills display, professor goes on to explain that Alexander Hamilton was the first united State Secretary of  Treasury and a founding father. Professor then touches large display screen again and drags image of Hamilton to one side as  image automatically reduces in size; he simultaneously taps  center of  screen with  index finger of his right hand initiating  play of a 30sec video clip from a PBS documentary about Hamilton.

Discussion, Interaction, Communications: class discussions, interactive work.

Professor asked class; what was the state of  the country in March of 1776 when Hamilton joined the military. A voice from a ceiling mounted sound system starts to speak, it was Jason one of the remote students in this hybrid class, Jason  talk about the New York Artillery and political environment of the time; professor brought up Jason’s webcam via Elluminate Live so class could see him, then Jason shared his desktop to show  class some images as he talked about political environment of the time.

Research: individual and group work.

Professor reminded students of  group assigned research reports, an assignment  that was post on Blackboard  that are due; a rubric provide detail  instructions on this group project (rubric: each group are to provide copies of  their group assigned research reports to all other class groups. Each group will then develop presentations only from group provide research, and each individual student will write an essays citing each group research reports and 5 other reference publications by midterm).

Mixed Bag: discussions, lectures, presentations, debates, integrated digital literacy.

This behavior went on for the next 40 minutes, professor would lecture, engage students in debates and discussions then like magic he would bring up either a passage of text from  textbook and/or text from campus library  on-line data bases, or a series of images, short video clips of commentary from a noted historian talking about Alexander Hamilton, then swiping it off screen like a iphone gesture only to quickly gesture something else on screen, when a student would respond or engage in professor guided debates; professor would invite student to pull up content on smart-board that could support their view or comment.

Assessments Activities: quiz, test,  projects, peer-base strategies, evaluation and credit for participation.

Before  students had realized it the hour had passed and for a moment they just set there wondering if it was over when professor uttered pull out your IPADs or laptops to  face-to-face students, and instructed them and remote students to quickly download and take the pop quiz from blackboard he posted just before class, and email to him before class is over or by 55mis to the hour.  That’s all folks; read the next twenty chapters, post a comment to my blog commentary and respond to three of your classmates posts for next week.

The above narrative is attempting to paint a picture of the possibilities of a technology enhanced class experience; a classroom without walls where the instructor has the ability to will his captives into a world that immerses their minds into an ocean of content that is a coherent symphony of information.


Reflection: Week 4: Pedagogy and Course Design II

So much good information in chapter 3, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here starting on page 63 it states get organized, in POT everything we have done and doing right now is instructing us on how to organize ourselves so we can re-organize, and even with so much instruction on how to get organized,  guy’s I still feel overwhelmed.

I like the planning templates Lisa provide us; those layouts will work very well for me and the outline in chapter 3 provides a good guide for developing course structure, even the class tours mirrored this format.

Course Development: Ko and Rossen, Teaching Online

Syllabus, class schedules, content, exams, activities:  Pulling from your course objectives and goals.

  • Instructor-generated content: lectures, simulations, charts, graphs,  presentations
  • Discussion, Interaction, Communications: group discussions, class discussions, lectures, labs, exams, case studies, interactive work
  • Group-created work and student-created content: collaborative & cooperative, peer activities (reports, BLOGS, class presentations), group projects.
  • Research: individuals or group, experiments, fieldwork, interviews, internships.
  • Assessments Activities: Tests, essays, projects, any graded assignments, peer-base strategies, portfolios, evaluation and credit for participation (use rubrics to guide students and as a basic for grading work)

Asynchronous discussionMeaning that participants do not have to be logged in at the same time but can read and respond to messages over a time period. This need to be a coordinated effort and connected to a purpose and learning outcome.

Synchronous discussion: Students are logged in at the same time, ostensibly discussing the same topic. Important to plan ahead with topics to be discussed, technology that will be used, and time zone consideration.

The tours (Yavapai Community College) was very helpful with giving you a feel for different online class environments, approaches, and how rich the online experience can be; like conducting field trips online that  is  very cool, so much content on the internet. Online class does not have to be static, after building your structure and getting organized you can really get creative so your online class can really take on your teaching style.

My goal for this course is to develop an understanding of how to transform a face-to-face class into an online course, so I can better understand what is being asked of faculty as a technology integrator and instructional media developer; as faculty move to this next level of instructive strategies (online).

It has been helpful for me to think about my goal for taking this POT when I start to write my blog; again I’m not classically trained as an educator, but as an adjunct I taught television  and radio production and one of thing things I learned from my basketball and tennis coaches, they would always tell us to watch  the pros and take notes.

So I would tell my students;  unlike most professions they have the opportunity everyday to listens and watch professional in their  field  the broadcast industry, I  encourage them to  watch news  programs and listens to public radio programs critically with examination and learn.

For me this POT is my examination of something I need more information about, so I have immersed myself, this is not just a class on developing an online course, ( it’s an online course on  developing a online course), so that makes the vehicle and matrix of how this course is delivered to me more than just a class,  I’m plugged-in!

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Week 3 potcert

Like someone stated, I too have so many thoughts floating in my head pertaining to online teaching. I maybe the only none academic in POT, even thought I have taught as an adjunct, I’m not classically trained as an educator.

My goal for this course is to develop an understanding of how to transform a face-to-face class into an online course, so I can better understand what is being asked of faculty as a technology integrator and instructional media developer; as faculty move to this next level of instructive strategies (online).

Pedagogy and Course Design I

This tutorial is shaping my understanding of pedagogy and the process of developing a course in general and especially for online, there are number things that need to be considered, this is really not an easy task, I’m hearing a number of threads in POT.

Threads I’m hearing in POT:

  • Lecture and presentation content are still very important when engaging student.
  • Student participation plays a key role to their understanding of a subject.
  • Include processes and evaluate students are developing critical thinking skills.
  • Integrating and transferring digital literacy skills.
  • What is the role of the professor and how to discern professor’s role?
  • Take a bird’s eye view of your course; identifying your student may/or could help shape your objectives
  • Technology is just another tool and will not make super faculty

Goal: This is a work in progress

Help students develop a holistic and applied view of subject:

  • Provide leadership with what is involved in developing proficiency in a discipline.
  • Guidance for students to understand; that knowing the functions and application of a tool, device (convention) and/or a technology used plays a significant role in outcome. (What tool should or could be used for a given situation)
  • How tools, devices and/or technologies operate in isolation of each other; what was there intended purpose when the tool was develop. When these tools, devices and/or technologies or layered, integrated or used in corporation with each other what is the effect or possible outcome.


  • Guide students by providing a path to understanding the course material, process and goals. Identify skills (practices, theories, concepts…)  that will be introduce, so students can ascertain when new skills are required.
  • Integrate information-digital literacy, this can provide students aptitude needed to research where to get plug-in to acquire new skills, techniques or more information.
  • Use a mixed bag of self-pace tutorials that can help students understand course materials.
  • Critical thinking; provide trial and error activities that lead to understanding what individual tools, devices and/or technologies can be layered, integrated or used in corporation to achieve a possible outcomes, systems design and/or development, processes development or theoretical exploration.


Below is the scope of a project I’m working on with and education consortium, as an instructional media developer; to develop an online academic model, this project is the guiding force behind me taking this POT course.


Develop a curriculum model which would integrate the use of technology design to address deficiencies centered around student retention that would include gateway courses across academic curricula, with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This model would also address the critical need for continued faculty development and curriculum redesign with the integration of instructional technology, for the purpose of propelling to a higher level of educational experience and/or sustaining a level of continuity between education and industry.

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Week 2 – Potcert

Week 2 Post: Reflections

My beginner’s questionnaire score was 13, which I think is on target for me. As a student or participant in a class or workshop I always respond better when an instructor use a number of approaches to convey information. I like a balanced approach in face-to-face classes, designed to address students learning type; visual, auditory and/or kinesthetic.

My goal for this course is to develop an understanding of how to transform a face-to-face class into an online course, I do need a good bit of help and agree with the reading that developing an online course can enhance your pedagogy with face-to-face environments.

I liked Ty Nevith’s comment that he provides a potluck of content delivery methods: group discussions, debates, presentations, expert commentary video or text passages, lecturing to pull it altogether.

I have Ideas; I like the fact that we have access to masses amount of critical information and content virtually at our fingertips and teaching in a purely digital environment can give a professor so much flexibility when responding to the need of their students.

I’m one of those techies; yes I know we don’t make the best instructors online nor on the ground, but I do believe mastery of tools that help you manage information and access to information, and being able to use tools to deliver content concise, coherent and some times on the fly as an extension of your mental knowledge base can enhance the classroom experience online or face-to-face.

Everyone in POT appear to agree with “Ko and Rossen” that the technology is secondary just a tool, I like to think a skilled tools-man can transform and the tool becomes an extension of their thoughts, emotions and teaching methods. I know most universities don’t have the means to train faculty, but with the availability of open source opportunity like this one you can get plug-in and turned-on.

Where the Hell Do I Start? … This class is the right start for me; the chart is a great road-map. Teaching Online: A Practical Guide; I found chapter 1 reading very insightful, useful and a very helpful overview.

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Week 1 – Potcert

 Program for Online Teaching Certificate Class 2012-13

Week 1 potcert

Hello All,

My name Felton Square; I’m an Enterprise Architect for Multimedia / Instructional Media Technologist at Alcorn State University Lorman, MS.  I have a background and a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology, my experience range from information technology to radio/television broadcast and production.

I’m technical project manager for a mass deployment of instructional technology with a variety of technology related tool from smart -boards to lecture capture recorders and video conferencing equipment including distance

learning equipment .  This project started with a focus to equipment our faculty with tools to enhance the classroom learning experience.

The goal is to get our faculty information literate and skilled at commanding technology used to process access to information and connected to a larger world of education professionals and institutions fostering collaboration.  I’m coming to the end of the first phase of this project; deployment of technology and transitioning into application, and I’m taking on the role of teaching the teacher. Even though I have taught at the college level I need to enhance my skill-set to better help my faculty with commanding and integrating technology into their pedagogies  so they can be  innovative  and transform to this next level of instructive strategies needed to process all this information we now have access to. 

In-turn hopefully these skills will be transferred to our students across all disciplines, so I hope this class can help me teach the teacher. I’m excited!

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