10 Responses

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  1. Bud Deihl April 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm |

    Thoughtful post on a serious matter. However, as you know from experience, effective online teaching requires a major change in practice that does not happen overnight. Perhaps the contemplation of such emergencies might be one motivating factor encouraging institutions to help faculty develop required skills, meaningful learning opportunities and formative assessment techniques before they “require all faculty to routinely “teach” one week of their semester online.”

  2. Derek April 27, 2009 at 8:36 am |

    Great post, Britt. I hadn’t thought through the implications of the Valley City State University story. This reminds me of a talk I heard recently (via podcast) by someone at Virginia Tech about their response to the shootings there. It made me wonder if my teaching center might want to prepare a short summary of strategies for teaching in times of crisis that we could distribute (via Web, email, podcast, off-campus servers, etc.) if our campus faced an emergency of some sort.

    Might those of us who support faculty on our campuses prepare some kind of beginner’s guide to teaching online, something specific to our campus resources, that we could distribute quickly if our campuses needed to shift to online teaching overnight?

    Bud makes a good point that effective online teaching can’t be learned overnight. But what about naive online teaching, if that’s the alternative to no teaching at all? My point is that those of us who support faculty might want to think about what we could prepare ahead of time in case of emergency.

  3. Stephanie Sandifer April 27, 2009 at 10:10 am |

    Britt — I love the idea of a weeklong “drill” once a year. There are so many situations that would benefit from a more flexible model that incorporates online learning — illness epidemics, flooding, hurricanes, snow storms and ice storms…

    Not only are we not prepared for this, in too many cases we aren’t willing to make the necessary investments to prepare for this. My more complete thoughts on this are posted on my blog.

  4. Melissa Miller October 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |

    I think this is a serious matter in which many schools or educations systems do not take into account until disaster hits. Swine Flu, Flooding etc. Yes there may be some work that involves the conversion of in class courses to online, but there are content creators that are trained to specifically write successful online training courses and convert classroom courses to distant learning courses. As of now the Government is gifting grants to certain organizations to implement distant learning or online training programs into the education system. More and more valuable resources are popping up on the web that contains online courses and certifications. A resource to check out is http://www.coggno.com. This provides the perfect example of an online marketplace enabling the development of learning online.

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