Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blog 7

What are my thoughts about my ability to be successful in an online course?

Being aware of my abilities to work in an online course, I prefer to be with the professor face to face or at least with a telecast professor. I may be able to decipher the information, but would most likely have difficulties due to a deficiency in a prerequisite.
The online quizzes merely reinforced prior knowledge of my abilities. According to Boyd, the online course student needs to be self-directed, self-paced, and be willing to meet others online probably without ever meeting other students face-to-face. Online students also need support from family, friends, employers, and co-workers. These should be patient and understanding that the demand to have assignments done promptly and accurately is critical. Boyd also says online students need better than average reading and writing skills. While these former requirements could be achieved, my technology skills would be lacking and therefore be a dam in the flow of achievements.

What are my thoughts regarding online learning and the K-12 student?

There are districts in remote areas with fewer than 50 students and teachers could be scarce. If a facilitator who could assist students is present, especially for primary age students, an online head teacher may be best for that particular situation. The prediction is for a teacher shortage in some USA locations. Online courses may be the proper choice for these. As long as an organized, encouraging person was monitoring students during the online class, I would not be in opposition to my own children being in the class. Of course, older students would be required to be prompt and well behaved, forming good habits. This training might also help them to adjust to college classes better in the future. Our oldest son is taking an online college class as a high school senior. He is learning that he must be very attentive to information and assignments. He has always been a great student, but has never taken an online course. I feel this is not his favorite activity because of the difficulty of the course, not particularly because of being online. According to Boyd, some students prefer online courses due to freedom from meeting at certain times of the day/ week, while online courses may require more online activity each day. Lim says online learners may not see the importance of what is taught and may become disengaged, de-motivated or fail to make a connection in what they have learned. To summarize Lim, it becomes the responsibilities of both the learner and instructor, to complete the task. The learner’s part is to be attentive, punctual and motivated about the class. The instructor’s part is being the motivator, encouraging online discussions, replying to questions within 24 hours, setting meaningful tasks, keeping focused and recommending good resources for exploration.

How does this tie to my educational technology philosophy?

The Earth is called the “living planet” because it is ever changing. People and the needs of today’s societies are also changing. We have a nation and world of diverse cultures. My preferences may work for a small group, but not necessarily for everyone. If online courses work for some groups, then that is the ideal situation. I am not opposed to trying new concepts, especially if what I’m doing is not successful. As a principal, I have to present the best situation for my students.


  1. Wow, Danny! Some excellent thoughts. Tying your personal experiences to the research done by Boyd certainly gives sheds light on the personal experiences you share. You note that Lim states both the teacher and the learner are responsible in the online course...for certain that is true! Some students are so familiar with a passive approach for learning, they are like little birds in a nest with their mouths open waiting for the momma bird to swoop in an drop the food. In an online course, the student has to be more active. Quite honestly, I believe that we're doing a disservice to students in our traditional face to face courses by allowing them to be passive learners in the traditional classroom as well.

  2. Danny you are so right. What works for some does not always work for others. Some like chocolate ice cream and some don't.

    You have to find what motivates each one and if online courses work for that particular student then go with it. I was not a believer before but my thoughts have changed.