The Distance Learning team hit the ground running this short week before the Spring semester kicks in. We have a great deal on our plate for Spring 08. Two of our biggest projects will be peer evaluating every online class offered at CCC in the next 12 months and setting up an online tutoring service for our students. We have evaluated 12 online courses to date and learned a great deal during that initial peer review process. Now that most of our faculty have been trained (Blackboard Boot Camp) in online teaching methods it’s time to take a good hard look at the courses (technically and for sound instructional design) they are teaching. This is a SACS requirement and at the top of our priority list.
I’m also recruiting some adjunct teachers to participate in our distance learning tutoring initiative. One of our veteran online adjunct instructors Lisa Taylor has agreed to assist me in getting this service off the ground. Brad Nicolajsen is working with me on the technical end. We are planning on using MS Instant Messenger and Blackboard discussion boards to tutor our students in Math, English and possibly Science and History. I hope to begin training our tutors be the end of January and begin offering a scaled down online tutoring service for selective courses by Mid- February. This is a service that we hope will grow incrementally as we market it and get faculty and students aware that it is available to them.
Meetings have been scheduled with our CCC DL Pioneers. One major goal I’m asking both teams to accomplish is to produce a minimum of 2 new podcasts and/or videos this semester. These can either be course orientations, lessons and/or demonstrations. Many of the Phase II team were given new laptops and digital recorders thanks to the Title III Grant and it’s important that we continue incorporating viable rich media content into our online classes and show that we are putting this new equipment to good use.
Pre-Ah and I are planning some new distance learning workshops for Spring. 08. Some of the topics will be producing Jing videos, advanced instructional design techniques, producing enhanced podcasts and using Instant Messenger in online courses for office hours.
There are also two Distance Learning Conferences coming up in the months ahead. One in Durham next month, and the other in New Bern in April. I plan to present at both conferences and will be bringing many of our DL Pioneers to at least one of these conferences.