03: Skillfulness and Online Learning

In my program, I am always searching for ways to can flip the class and deliver lessons online. In The 3240 Media class I learned many new techniques on how to produce and post lectures and lessons online. I took advantage of this learning and went to work producing videos, Prezies and podcasts that freed our classroom time up to work in class. Eureka!

But as I read the first chapter of The Skillful Teacher by Stephen D. Brookfield I started to wonder how a video or podcast could be adaptable to the rough waters of an online classroom. Without being present when the lecture is taking place, how can I react to disengagement, frustration or even abdication? What kind of tools are available to instructors that mimic the compassion of a skillful teacher?

Beyond 3240, this class – Professional Practice – is my first foray into online learning as a student. As in all of the courses offered in the PIDP program, much of the learning is embedded in the organization of the course itself. Monitoring a blogroll for example, is a good way to temperature check students remotely. I feel like I am fairly tech savvy, but setting up a blog and downloading widgets was new to me. It took a good amount of time to determine the right platform and once determined, I spent another chunk of time scrolling through endless themes to find one I liked. And then the widgets…oh, the widgets.

Was getting thrown into the blog pool part of Professional Practice or was it just a bonus? It will be useful however, since once a student is up and blogging about their learning escapades, as an instructor I can adapt the curriculum delivery to meet the diverse needs of my online classroom.

If you are interested in improving your teaching practice, try the Professional Instructors’ Diploma at the School of Instructors Education at VCC.



Photo credit: giulia.forsythe via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA


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