Taking (Online) College Instruction by Storm!
>Well, I admit that I never thought it might happen, but as of today I am officially a College-level instructor because my two courses started today.
I found myself in this position by the purest of chance. The backstory is that I live in a relatively major center with a nearby Community College. As a product of the College system I have a certain amount of affection of the methods and approaches used therein. This College runs a number of continuing education courses, including a certificate in adult learning (similar to the one I did years ago). So, I figured I’d send out a general inquiry to say, “ya know, if you ever want/need part-time instructors for this gig I’d be, you know, interested.”. Based on my history with unsolicited resume submissions and the like, I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for what I usually consider to be a pretty closed system.
Fate decided to keep me on my toes and I actually got a response to my query and eventually got an offer to teach not one, but two of the online editions of said certificate program. That was back in October and I wasn’t slated to teach until Feb., so it didn’t seem quite real.
But, that was then, and this is now. I’ve completed the edits to my course, and when I checked in last night I was pleasantly surprised to see that I even had learners enrolled! So, things kicked off today. In my Adult Learning course I have 32 (!) learners, and in the Assessment & Evaluation course I have 12. Of course, these numbers are likely to change as the course goes on, but I’m thrilled. Lots of eager (and maybe not-so-eager) learners to mould, mentor, and guide.
I dug back through my online communities course from grad school and re-read Gilly Salmon’s fine book, e-Moderating. I tapped into some of my recent expertise and inspiration and I filled in what I thought were some of the gaps in one course, and worked with another new instructor to re-purpose and re-format another one because neither one of us could make head-nor-tail of the original approach (we also had learner feedback from a previous iteration to support our efforts).
So, I gave them a video introduction and I plan to do some of Salmon’s “weaving and summarizing” as the content discussions progress. I may even tap into some other activities through the 14 week run of the course, just to give the learners some other kinds of engagement.
While I find the thought of having to mark that many assignments a little daunting, I’m still excited about this new side activity. I’ll blog more as the courses progress.