The Internet is not just woven with information. The web is spun by people who are willing to reach out and communicate their ideas with others.
Even if you are an experienced educator, skilled librarian, or seasoned web developer, you'll find developing and delivering web-based courses a challenge. Each learning environment has unique problems and frustrations. Although your classroom experience, library skills, and instructional design skills will be extremely valuable, you'll need to adjust how you think about student-teacher communication, patron-library interaction, class preparation, and many other things you may take for granted in your traditional classroom or library program.
You're already a great professional. Apply these skills in new ways. If you're a dynamic speaker, think about incorporating audio and video. If you're a great facilitator, consider threaded discussions. If you're super writer, think about web-based documents. At the same time, be thinking about your student and their individual needs.
Let's explore a few examples of online learning environments you might design...
Example 1: Science Fiction Book Club
You might design the structure for an online science fiction book club, but you only need to provide the online materials for the first book you'll be reading, Ender's Game. These materials might include discussion questions, a pathfinder to the works of Orson Scott Card, and an overview of the science fiction genre. You may set up the structure for other books your group will be reading (such as a page with the book title, description, and cover illustration), general discussion and participation guidelines, and a community building activity, but you don't need all of the completed materials. The technologies used in this project include setting up a Ning social network for the web presence including web pages for book information (i.e., pathfinder, background information, faqs), using Audacity to create an audio book talk of the first book in the series, and setting up the forum with the discussion questions for the first book.
Example 2: High School Freshman 21st Century Orientation
You might design a self-instructional, online course for high school freshman in 21st Century Inquiry (what used to be "library skills orientation"). You'll establish seven modules, but only need to complete one of these modules such as Citing Sources. This module includes an overview of information sources and guidelines for citing sources (i.e., books, journal articles, websites, social network discussions, email communications). The module may also include an online tutorial, lots of examples, samples, and practice, as well as quiz. The technologies used include Google Pages for the web presence and module contents, SlideShare for the module tutorial, and an online quiz using Quia.
Example 3: Virtual Tax Seminar
You might design a virtual tax seminar as a Spring library program. Participants will complete a series of tax tutorials, assess a pathfinder of online resources, and participate in online discussions with tax experts. Ning was used to share the tutorials, pathfinders, and hold the discussions.
Example 4: Educational Statistics Course
You might transform a face-to-face educational statistics course into an online course. Graduate students will use Blackboard to experience virtual lecture materials, online readings, collaborative activities, and examinations.
This workshop will explore practical experiences and "best practice" in distance teaching and learning.
The workshop materials are divided into a dozen topics. Within each topic, you'll find subtopics and additional pages of information.
Use the navigation bar on the left to work your way through the workshop materials.