This summer session, I am teaching an eight-week graduate course in the Adult Education graduate program on the Theory and Practice of eLearning Integration in Adult Environments (ADLT-640) for VCU. The course was originally designed as a hybrid course, meeting once a week, but I suggested a format change to meet twice a week the first and last two weeks, and go totally online the middle four weeks. This would give the students a more true “elearning integration” into their own learning. We just finished up the first two weeks, meeting 3 hours Tuesday and Thursday nights. My students are an interesting mix of corporate trainers, military trainers, medical trainers and college staff. This would have been an interesting course to teach online, but I am finding the introductory face-to-face component enjoyable. We have quickly bonded as a learning community, and while I think that could have occurred online, it certainly occurred much faster starting face-to-face.
We are using Terry Anderson’s (2010) book, The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, as the textbook for this course. I am supplementing the theory portion with material from Linda Harasim‘s (2012) new book, Learning Theory and Online Technologies. I also used George Siemens‘ (2006) Knowing Knowledge for last night’s class on connectivism.
For the first time, I have completely moved to using Prezi as a tool to keep me on track and provide a more interesting alternative to the typical slide deck. The adults in my class have enjoyed the change from past classes. In some ways, it also allows me to keep the class more conversational and to dive out of Prezi onto the web as conversation suggests.
Some interesting take-aways the first two weeks. Two-thirds of the class have had an online learning experience, and most characterize the experience as “Poor”. None have taught online before but assume they will. The energy and excitement have been high as we have looked at the evolution of eLearning and the affordances the web now provides… affordances not available a decade ago.
Here are the first two week’s worth of Prezi’s:
We now move to the online phase of the course. It will be interesting to see if the engagement continues with as high an energy level as we have had the past two weeks!