I have been changed in many ways, particularly in how I think, how I will teach, how and what I will study in the future. I was a proponent of online learning before I took this course, I am a greater fan now that I understand the flip side of the equation. I love the course I built and want to keep working on it and improve on it so when I am ready (in the near future) I can teach it. I still do not think that I am quite ready to teach—there are a few things I need to work on. However, I am confident that I will be ready relatively soon. I feel confident and empowered!!!
– Anne-Marie Gomes
This was the most important thing I learned – to hand trust back to my students, and that it is not only OK to do so, but it actually makes a better class.
– Anneke Chodan
I really believe that this course has taught me important skills because I was required to actually use the skills I was learning about.
– Ben Malczyk
I am going into my fourth year of graduate studies at UAlbany and have taken many courses here. Yet, I feel as this is one of the first courses that will let me leave with having a profound change in thinking. Coming into this course I figured we would read a few articles about online education and create a course shell for an online course. Additionally, I came into this course assuming online education failed to meet the standards of f2f education. Now, my thoughts are completely changed. Leaving this course I feel as though I could write an effective rebuttal of that argument and I believe that illustrates a great amount of growth for a person who entered this class questioning the merits of online education.
– Bill Meredith
I think the biggest impact on my learning is realizing that student centered must be meaningful. In order to make it meaningful it has to be important and the students must feel they are in control. Through the videos and readings in this course this has become increasingly apparent. Building class community, social presence, having teaching presence, and giving students’ choice are all strategies for creating the perfect learning environment. Although this course was quite a challenge I did learn a lot, especially in the past few days where I have become completely obsessed with adding “bells & whistles” to my moodle course. This course did present a student centered environment and I found it to be successful in changing my thinking about course design.
– Danielle Melia
I have so many ideas that I have learned from this course that I want to implement them all into my class. But, I really need to stand back and reflect. The most I got from this class is all the information that everybody shared on diigo.com and in their discussions. I am very proud of everybody’s contribution to my education and their own. I loved how everybody had a share in the teaching presence and how Alex facilitated the learning. This was an an excellent example of an effective student-centered learning environment.
– Gary Bedenharn
I just finished what may be my last discussion post for ETAP640. As I went through the post process, I was cognizant of each step: read your classmates’ posts; respond to something that resonates within you; teach (us) something by locating and sharing resources that support your thinking; include the thinking and experiences of classmates; offer your opinion on what you are sharing; cite your resources for the benefit of all; tag your resources logically. Alex had informed us at the outset of the course that each discussion post is an exam and I have learned why: discussion is the heart of online learning. An instructor may vary the context, content, activity, instructional grouping, and time frame, but in the online environment, students’ learning is demonstrated through the vehicle of discussion… I came to learn that blog posts are personalized records of learning, thinking, and being. It is not about what the instructor wants to hear, it is about hearing the student’s articulation of what is being learned that is essential to evaluating the content of a blog post. Through trying to be “fearless” about using technology, as Alex advises, I have come to learn that confidence is something that one must exercise in all spheres of the online environment. While the pre-ETAP640 Irene would continue this last sentence with “but I feel as though I am still a student myself”, the post-Pickett Irene says, “while I continue to learn with them.”
– Irene Watts-Politza
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to take this class. I have learned so much and have really enjoyed being involved in a community of learners with all of you. I have never truly felt like I have been part of a community of learners before, or really knew what that was or meant. I think this has resonated so strongly with me that it is something that I want to strive for with students in a face-to-face class or an online class, whichever comes first.
– Joan McCabe
Coming into this class I thought I was a technology native. I thought I knew a lot about the internet, its uses for the classroom and ways I could utilize it. This class has pushed my limits showing me there is endless posiblities and things I will do even in my face to face class. For example, I was introduced to vociethread. This I will use to connect my classroom to another and make an authentic population for my students to present to. I would even use it to show student work at an open house. To really have learned something I think it means it will stay with you, you will use it. It will be in your thoughts after the class has concluded.
– Julie Delpapa
This course was developed in a way that the harder you work and the more you participate the better the experience and the more you will get out of it. I can guarantee that all of us were nervous and scared the first time we entered this course. The first day we knew that it was going to be a challenging, but we have made it to the end with a lot of rewarding experiences and a lot of lessons learned along the way. Being a student and feeling like my work is getting noticed and valued is a tremendous boost in wanting to participate in the course and in my course design. The hardest thing for me in this course, is the discussions. Being my first online course ever, I was a little intimidated by the type of discussion because of the requirements. I feel like I am not using my ‘voice’ like the other students in the course. A lot of the discussions between the other students are based off of prior teaching experiences, which I only experienced during student teaching, so most of my posts are more research and article based and it is hard for me to respond to the other posts. I am happy that I am getting the experience to develop a course though because it definitely has put my teacher hat on and going through a lot of different process to make it learner-centered and engaging. I believe if I didn’t have this opportunity to reflect, it would have been a thought but I would not have acted on it. At first I thought blogging and journaling was just busy work and I wasn’t too excited to do them, but I have found great benefit from thinking about how I learn, why I learn and how I can use this to improve my contributions as an educator and student and that deflated feeling is going away with every week that passes and it is renewing my faith in education and where it is headed.
– Lauren Dembrosky
I have to admit, I was a little intimidated when we all started to introduce ourselves in this course. Every other class I’ve ever had was filled with people who had the same experiences as me and I felt like we were all on the same level. As I was reading everyone’s introductions, I felt inferior. I remember agonizing over what I could possibly offer to someone who was already teaching college! When everyone in the course started sharing their feelings of frustration with the course, being overwhelmed and doubting their abilities I started to realize that we were all in the same situation…We were in this together. I received private messages and replies to my blogs and discussions that offered me support, help and guidance from so many people in this class. I starting CHANGING even more…I had a stronger connection with people I had never met than in any face-to-face class I had EVER taken! (and that’s a LOT of classes having an associates, a bachelors and a masters degree already) This is when I started to realize that online education could provide experiences to me that I couldn’t get anywhere else… I want to CHANGE someone the way that Alex, ETAP 640, and all of you have CHANGED me.
– Lisa Martin
Learning is change. I have changed many things to improve my online teaching such as adding more student choice and student-led discussions. I have also improved rubrics, instructions, and use more peer review and small group discussions based on sound pedagogical principles and best practices for online learning. Additionally, I am including more authentic, student-centered activities and assessments. I have also learned about and included more multimedia in my course to enhance teaching, social, and cognitive presence (McDonough, n.d.) . I have learned to incorporate more innovative uses of technology to enhance online course delivery for students, including having learning environments available outside of the course management system for students’ lifelong learning needs.
– Mary Guadron
In a course titled Introduction to Online Teaching, I never would have imagined such a wide variety of topics could be covered! Not only have I learned what it takes to effectively develop an online course, I have also learned about modern theories in education that have helped evolve the way I view my face-to-face interactions with students.
– Tina Bianchi
In the beginning of this course I was very overwhelming and did know if I could make. Through support of my friends, family, and in reading through others reflection blogs I saw that I wasn’t the only one and that this was a challenge that I needed to concur. I am so glad that I stuck with it because I learned so much and I can definitely take this with me in my teaching.
– Victoria Keller.
What students said in the summer of 2011.
What students said in the summer of 2009.
What students said in the summer of 2008.