Joseph Drasin – Reflections on M2

My motivation for online teaching is largely one of practicality. As noted in the Lin and Dyer (2012) as well as the Van de Vord and Pogue (2012) piece, online learning is expanding, and this is especially true for adult learners. Since most of my teaching is to professionals and academic adult learners, I need to be where my audience is. As I mentioned in the VT thread last week, I spent the fall taking a course in pedagogy vs. andragogy, and it really was fascinating. Many of the concepts in that class are applicable here. If you’ve not read any of his work, and have any interest in adult learning, I high recommend reading some of Lindeman’s (1944; 1945) work.

What I think has made and will hopefully continue to make, me successful at online teaching is being able to engage my students in a manner which bridges their academic and practical interest. I do this by expressing my passion for the subject, the practical value of the subject matter, and why they have a vested interest in engaging in the topic. I was very drawn to Fink’s (2003) taxonomy (though he does not like that word) in which the driver of a teacher is not simply to impart knowledge, but to create a desire in the students to continue learning about the topic after the course. If you’ve not read his book Creating Significant Learning Experiences, I recommend it.

This drive for purpose becomes even more important in the online environment which the students tends to be more self-motivated and self-guided. Fortunately for me, the subjects I teach professionally and in the classroom tend to be ones which lend themselves to this. Be it leadership, organizational change, organizational development, being able to show students how these are more complex social and psychological dynamics, but also ones which can greatly help them understand their workplace, relationships, and themselves. I truly believe that the role of a managers and leaders is a fiduciary one, and so I have a strong desire to impart these concepts on my students, and I think they pick up on that.

One of the areas of concern for me is not the time factor, which dominated the readings, but rather how to maintain this level of engagement and passion which one can establish more easily face-to-face. I think the VT posts we did helps some with this, but as I mentioned, I don’t think this is necessarily sustainable as a primary means of collaboration. In addition, the asynchronous nature removes some ability to effectively work together and synthesize new ideas. As an instructor I need to be much keener at picking up on queues of student engagement, be it the frequency or verbosity of their posts or other means. This is something I would really like to hear about from others.

While writing this, I starting thinking about the concept of an online classroom, but in a more permanent sense to reflect the brick-and-mortar classroom. I think it’s great that we have a once a week meeting to meet “face-to-face”(ish) J However, I’ve thought about extending this to having a permanent open A/V conference space where students can go at any time and meet up. Almost like a lounge in the dorm, they can hang out there while they work and other students may be there and collaboration may serendipitously occur.

Another challenge (I know you said one) has plagued every online class I’ve taken, and that is one of organization. I’m not sure if it is a reflection of the software quality, but in every class I’ve taken it’s been an effort to be aware of all the activities and assignments. Some classes have almost felt like a treasure hunt to make sure there isn’t some important note in some hidden corner of the virtual classroom.

Joseph Drasin

Fink, L.D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Lin H, Dyer K, Guo Y. (2012) Exploring online teaching: A three-year composite journal of concerns and strategies from online instructors. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 15(3).

Lindeman, E. C. (1945). The sociology of adult education. Journal of Educational Sociology, 19(1), 4-13.

Lindeman, E. C. (1944). New Needs for Adult Education. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 115.

Van de Vord R, Pogue K. (2012). Teaching time investment: Does online really take more time than face-to-face?. International Review of Research on Open And Distance Learning. 13(3). 132-146.

24 thoughts on “Joseph Drasin – Reflections on M2

  1. Joseph, your comment about an always available collaboration space is a good one! This would allow students to make themselves available for interaction while working on assignments, or when they desire to discuss classroom related material.

    1. Fonksiyonel MR, beyin aktivitesi ve işlevlerini ölçmek için kullanılan bir görüntüleme yöntemidir. Fonksiyonel MR, beynin farklı bölgelerindeki kan akışını ölçerek çalışır. Bu kan akışı, beynin o bölgesindeki nöronların aktif hale gelmesine neden olan oksijen ve glikoz gibi besinleri taşır. Fonksiyonel MR, beynin çalışma prensiplerini anlamak ve buna dayanarak bazı hastalıkların teşhisini yapmak için kullanılır.

  2. Joe: I know that you have experienced online courses where, in addition to the use of online technologies, augments to the online experience were made through both teacher-lead and student-lead augments. By teacher-lead augments I mean the use of augments such as in person residences to set the tone and interaction expectations for the online portion. By student-led augments I mean the use of augments such as (at least) weekly conference calls between small groups to discuss in depth perspectives on the course material and/or ideas for discussion or points to be explored. (Theoretically, I understand this is a type of hybrid course.)
    My question to you is, in your opinion and experience does the use of a hybrid design with an in-person residence mitigate to a significant extent the engagement problem and course efficacy problems you mentioned? (FYI: in a series of courses I took in graduate school, this method worked for a geographically diverse – domestic and international – group of learners. In fact, it seemed to promote more interaction and engagement than a “straight” online course, even with using diverse online tools. Thanks.

    1. Daniel, I think those augmentations were critical. Our in-person residencies for many of the courses were mid-way through the semester and the ‘feel’ of the class changed drastically after everyone had met in person. As for the student cohorts that formed, these became a source of academic support as well as keeping ones sanity. I don’t think I would have been successful without either of those aspects. A pure online experience, even with some voice/video I don’t think would have been enough.

      Joseph Drasin

      1. Joseph, you have confirmed my understanding that they hybrid course, with some real time face to face contact, is the most effective way to do online coursework. The idea of student led augmentation is very useful to me.

  3. wonderful points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

    1. Those additions, in my opinion, were necessary. Midway through the semester, we had in-person residencies for phrazle several of the courses, and the ‘feel’ of the class shifted dramatically once everyone had met in person.

  4. Joseph, you made a valid point when you mentioned the need for a permanent meeting place for the team. When they work on homework or other classroom-related tasks, students could indicate their availability for conversation. geometry dash

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