This was an interesting week – I hate having a week’s worth of classes before the last day to add/drop a class. As usual, my roster has now changed and I will have new students again on Monday. When I try to start with the first class and cover the basics, it seems unfair to these students to hear me repeat myself for the new ones next week but if I don’t those who are new are always the students who seem lost later in the semester. I strive for a balance to “reward” those who start at the beginning with a quick assignment that is only worth a few points in the larger scheme of things. At least I can begin to create student groups next week!
In Co-op we are all using Digication for ePortfolios and have been using Blackboard consistently for years. For some of us, we use many of the Blackboard features and as I explained earlier, I am concerned about privacy issues with some of the writing that my students do so I feel safer in Blackboard. I will consider making additional moves towards more “public” spaces for the Spring. For now, my courses are in Blackboard but I utilize a number of Web 2.0 tools for assignments. For student introductions, particularly in my two online courses, I use Voki for one minute introductions. Students create their avatars and then post in the Discussion Board. I use this tool in a number of ways during the semester. In my CEP 121 classes, I will be using VoiceThread for interview practice and will add these classes to the existing assignment so that they can review the answers given by students in my previous classes. This will happen later in the semester. We will also be using audio files in a number of ways – podcasts, PowerPoints, informational interviews. I’ll post more on these when I make some final decisions. My internship seminar class (which is an online class) will add to the wiki that my hybrid seminar created last winter.
I haven’t been as successful with groups in the online sections, have used Google Groups/Docs with limited success so plan to try something different. I figure that students all have LIVE email accounts from the college so I thought we would experiment this semester with using OneNote which is accessible through their email account. They also have access to Word, PowerPoint and Excel – the MS Office Web Apps and SkyDrive. If we have reasonable success, I will probably merge my two CEP 121 classes. I am considering the best way to have my CEP 121 and my internship seminar courses to participate in a discussion board – two online/one hybrid class.
There is much I would like to do but with the pending structural changes in Co-op I am hesitant to move too fast too soon.