Recently, we started exploring ways to use our learning management system to facilitate greater collaboration, particularly asynchronous communication. Today I was pleasantly surprised to see that a faculty member had opened a discussion post that inspired feedback from other members. With faculty being so over committed, being open to virtual discussion and collaboration will create so many more opportunities for interaction. It’s only the tip of the iceberg, but imagining the potential is very exciting!!
As my organization transitions to a new learning management system (Desire2Learn), I keep trying to figure out ways to help acclimate the faculty I support to the new platform. The more I can model the functionality of various features in the section designated for discipline resources, the more opportunities the faculty will have to experience the added value, rather than be “sold” on the added value.
Working on an online version of a face to face course can really help with fine tuning the details of both! I find myself getting realizations about the clarity of my explanations and expectations all the time. In other words, I don’t think my planning for the face to face workshop would be as well thought out without the things I’ve discovered when trying to make my expectations clear in my online copy. At this point, I’m thinking about some requirement of the practicum just about all the time that I am not working. I go to sleep with ideas in my head and I wake up with ideas! It’s hard to say exactly how much time I’m investing but at least 1-1/2 hours each day goes to some aspect of workshop development. I just keep telling myself: it will all be over in May!
At this point, I am working on the resources for my online instruction: creating screencasts and presentations. Recordings are generally a challenge for me because I tend to have issues maintaining consistent voice tone throughout an entire presentation. I am in the process now of “tweaking” my scripts which means I repeat them over and over trying to effectively communicate the message using as few words & images as possible. I spend an hour or more daily working on some aspect of this workshop and I still feel like there is so much left for me to do!
Still “tweaking” my lesson plans. I started working on the online instructional tutorial component of my practicum. It has really helped me to narrow my focus and clarify objectives. When you are posting instructions online, you tend to want to be as concise as possible. Going through the process of translating my “face to face” workshop plans to my online tutorial is helping me because I have to choose my words carefully and be very clear about what I expect from students. Not a day goes by that I don’t spend at least an hour reviewing my plans. One of my challenges is to reduce the time committment for the faculty so practically speaking being able to link to online resources will provide additional instruction even for the “face to face” workshop participants.
At this point, I am spending approximately 2 hours a day (non-consecutive time) crystallizing my thoughts on the staff development workshop and documenting my instructional plan. Like a puzzle, it is all coming together. Preparing instructional strategies directed toward the adult learner has been somewhat challenging because my previous practical experience involved developing lesson plans for middle school students.