This week we are focusing primarily on web based courses. On Tuesday, Donald Girouard and Shannon Horne came to talk to us about web bases courses. I enjoyed their presentation, for I have had a lot of experience with web based courses.
HNBI. Hutterian Broadband Network Inc. This network provides many Hutterite communities with a stable, high quality network to enable video conferencing so that their schools can offer Interactive Instructional Television (IITV) for high school students. It allows Hutterites to ‘share’ teachers among the 50 or so communities involved. I took a number of courses through this system, and enjoyed it a lot! The school I attended only had 8 high schoolers at the time, and there was no way we could have enough teachers to teach everybody the courses they wanted to take. Because of the IITV system I was able to take courses such as Pre Calc and Psychology that would otherwise not have been available.
University Online Courses. To speed up my education, I took online courses during the summer from various Universities (Athabaska University, University of Manitoba, and University of Winnipeg). Each of them provided a very different experience. U of W had online lectures, that gave you the option of being there in person, or simply watching the class online. The lectures even had a transcript, so that you could ‘read’ the lecture rather than watching it. U of M had no lectures, but provided a timeline in which everything had to be completed. There were tasks to be completed online (such as Moodle) and we had to comment on our classmates’ work. U of A was by far the most difficult. There was no timeline in which things had to be completed, but you had 6 months to complete the course. Professors were not always available for help, and a reply to an email was received up to a 4 days later.
Overall. Since I have quite a bit of experience with online courses, I feel confident to be able to use some of the features in my future classroom. I really enjoy the idea of students posting something online, and having their peers comment on it. I feel that it teaches them how to voice their opinions online, improves their writing skills, and most importantly respectfully disagree with others.