Got some thoughts for you Vida.
Personally I was also thinking of dropping out of this course myself. Not because I didn't enjoy it rather my schedule turned chaotic and when I decided to join the course I wasn’t really considering other events that could arise. I was also imagining that an online course might be very easy and similar to others I have taken in the past, however truly turned out to be challenging. I had to sit down one day and motivate myself by remembering university and working a full-time job. I also have to state that not being able to have all the materials available in advance is a downside especially when you’re unable to focus certain times due to other commitments.
Lastly I have never used ecentennial nor do I teach, so everything I put forth is from scratch. Being a first time user I have learned lots about this remarkable tool and your approach to this has been splendid.
Your course has been great and you have been great so I'm sure that is not the reason they have dropped out. My personal experience has been that there is all lot to do in the timeframe given for each module. The course content is great so perhaps extending the length of the course would help.
The first week of the course was very challenging and part of it is my fault. I didn't plan properly with all of the other commitments I had. The second week was much better.
By going through this experience it has really shown me how much time/effort you must put into developing a class. (I know we are not finished yet). The perception I had was online would be easier and it's not.
Overall, I'm happy I've taken this course. The instructions have been clear and concise and this has taught me how I should be when teaching either in traditional or online.
My thoughts on this .. I've enjoyed this course and have learnt quite a few highly valuable tips and trick for online learning and teaching. I just find the expectations are extremely high for students (us faculty) who are still getting used to the magic and intrigue of the online world and the numerous possibilities it has to offer. I understand the importance of participation but for us instructors who work full time (in addition to personal lives, family etc), I think having to blog, discuss (discussion board) and complete assignments (using new tools) alongwith ensuring that we have not missed out reding any of the posted materials is a bit overwhelming (at least for me). Perhaps someone can pass along some tips as to how to cope???? :(
I like Janice McLaren's suggestion: This course would likely have been more enjoyable for us if the course length was bigger or split into 2 courses OR setting lower expectations in the marking rubric. I'm guessing as adult learners part of it is the pride and joy of learning. Pride...If we find that we cannot be successful in what we are expected to do, we think it is better to drop out than fae failure or something less than perfect. And the joy of learning...I've always managed to depend on the joy of learning to keep me motivated... but this course has been a bit overwhelming for me..
I have just started teaching my summer online course and chanced to check the blog I have not used in a year, since I took your course. I could not help but respond to this post!
I have very much enjoyed all of my Teacher of Adults courses but your course was one of my favourites! I was not a computer geek but could ususally manage new things. Your course introduced me to many tools I had never used and it did require an investment of time. It was hard but I truly loved almost every minute...I am still challenged by wikis!
I have updated my online course with tools you taught me...forced me to stuggle with. My on learners who are very much digital aliens and I can see the difference the presentation has made.
I say: don't change a thing! and, Thank you!
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