Entering the unknown(strapped in and ready to go)

May 30, 2011

Today my course has officially gone live.  The next four weeks I’m entering the unknown and I hope I enjoy the ride.  As stated before this is my first time teaching online and my students are also new to learning in a fully online environment.  At least I’m starting this journey with previous teaching experience and a copy of Salmon’s e-moderation book as my trusty guide.  I need to take a deep breath and embrace the unknown.

Since my last post I have been tied down with my last assignment which I just managed to submit today(phew!).  Along with this I’ve chosen the participants and gave my course a well needed makeover.   So it’s been pretty full on and I’m expecting for it to get even busier as the month progresses.  I need to start writing my literature review and at the same time give my 100% to the online course as well as keeping regular updates to this blog.  I really want to try to make it as successful an experience as possible for the students taking part.  The first stumble I encountered was technological difficulties.  Thankfully I decided to make sure that prior to the course starting, students would check if they were able to download and access Second Life.  Unfortunately two students were unable to do this due to having old computers with  weak bandwidth.   Luckily I made sure of this before starting.  I don’t want technology to interfere too much to the development of the course but I realise that it will create unavoidable problems which I need to address as they arise.   I’m unsure how students will cope with creating their own blog and whether they will find difficulty when trying to add widgets along with adding videos and images to their blog posts.  Hopefully I will be able to direct them via skype if they are unsure how do to anything. Furthermore, I’m also extremely anxious about how students will react to using Second Life and I worry that I don’t have enough experience using this platform to competently assist them through any difficulties they encounter.  One student already voiced their concerns about using SL, asking if it was necessary to use it.  I advised  them to try not to worry about Second Life and told them that ‘It is very new to me and my advice is just to go with the flow’.  This is something I need to also repeat to myself.  Even if I’m unsure and anxious I can’t let students be aware of this and therefore,   I need to remain as upbeat and confident  as possible.

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