Online Class on How To Teach Online Classes Goes Laughably Awry

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Fundamentals of Online Learning … OOPS!

This disaster could have been mine. If I weren’t so swamped with my current online courses, I might have taken a stab at just this type of course. So I am very grateful to the people who took this huge risk with all good intentions, knowledge, skills, and vision. Your experience is a very valuable lesson. My heart goes out to the people who worked so hard and hoped that this course would help tens of thousands of adult educators understand how good online learning happens.

The lessons I learned from this unfortunate attempt …

  • If you are going for fundamentals, then keep it fundamental.
  • Reconsider use of discussion groups in MOOCs. This one is especially hard for me as dialogue is my very favorite element and, in my way of thinking, essential for real learning.
  • Make the PowerPoint presentations something really special — no reading of bullet points!
  • Test, test, test the platform before launching. Try it with 100 participants before trying with 40,000.
  • Assemble a BIG project team — this sort of endeavor can’t be done successfully by just a few hardy souls.
  • Be prepared to eat a huge slice of humble pie when things don’t go as you expect (or hope).
  • Approach this type of project as a monster learning experience!

Let’s hope the Ga Tech folks or someone else tries this again … we all have a lot to learn.

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