I will be attempting to transform a standard course in abnormal psychology into an online course. Having taught abnormal psychology in the “normal” manner for more than 25 years, teaching it online will be quite “abnormal!” It’s my sense thus far, however, that this might be a fine thing to do for the following reasons:
- Teaching abnormal psychology requires lots of case examples, photos, videos, audio recordings, charts and graphs. All of these should translate well into an online format.
- Students find abnormal psychology inherently interesting so they will be motivated to overcome some of the frustrations and challenges that starting out online seems to present (at least that’s how I feel about our experience this far).
- The study of abnormal behavior affords many opportunities for the use of interdisciplinary resources and materials. Among these are artworks, music, film, dance and other media through which the stresses of life have been depicted. Again, online presentation seems a natural!
I have loved learning abut Voice Thread and can see how it could be adapted to my style of lecture and discussion in face to face classes. I really like interacting with students and VT allows that to happen with surprising ease. Also, Scholarblogs (SB) seems very accessible and it is something that most students are used to. This means that I won’t need to be seen as, nor be, a high tech advisor. Students will likely know more than I will about the platforms we will be using.
I also like diigo because it allows me to read and comment critically on research articles and websites. Psychology has been under fire recently for some methodological sloppiness (well-deserved, I might add) and I think that, for students, having a professor comment on readings in a personal way will be very enlightening and engaging. diigo felt oddly comfortable and casual–conversational–and I think that it will help me to establish the kind of relationships with students that I feel are critical to teaching. These relationships are the things that I feared most losing in transition to online teaching. I am intrigued by diigo’s potential for providing a channel for interspersonal connection.