Clearly, as the rate of posts here indicates, I’ve been pretty busy this semester. Both of my classes this semester were courses I’ve taught before, but I had two of each for a total of four courses, with a combined 115 students. Don’t get me wrong, it went fine and all of my grades were turned in on time this past Tuesday, but it got pretty busy, especially after Spring Break.
Good thing I’m off for Summer Vacation now, right? Wrong! In all honesty, I’m kinda excited because I’ll be teaching two classes in the online setting for the first time. It’s new territory for me, as I’ve never taught a class in this way before, let alone two, so the learning curve could get the best of me, but I’m hopeful I can push them across the finish line by the time the classes are over in July.
Basically, back in the Fall, some of my students asked if I could teach Pathophysiology over the Summer semester. It’s a class I’d taught before, but this time, it would be out of a different department and with a different course number and a different textbook, so it isn’t exactly the same (but, effectively, it’s the same class). I was interested in doing it anyway, but the rub was that I’d have to do it in the online setting. In some ways, it was “win/win” because I could still be flexible with staying home over the Summer with Meg, but I’d also get to keep busy and try something new with my courses, some things I could potentially wrap back around into my lectures for the Fall. As of today, I’ve got 17 people enrolled in that class.
Earlier this semester, I was having conversations with “The Powers That Be” on campus about how many people are in my A&P courses (hint: it’s a lot) and they mentioned how it would be nice to get a fully online version of A&P I built to help transition students from the career center setting in nearby counties over to our nursing program. This online A&P course could be completed by interested students and, assuming it was completed along with other prerequisites, they could enroll in our nursing program without having set foot on our campus before.
This presented a different challenge, as there’s a laboratory component involved. I think I’ve solved that issue with a distance learning laboratory kit that we’ve contracted out from a supplier, but it’ll be interesting to see how the lab side of things works out compared with what I normally do during the Fall and Spring semesters.
Right now, I’ve got 15 people enrolled in that class, as well.
The thing I’m working on right now (aside from posting this…) is recording all of my lectures and getting them hosted on YouTube. There are multiple ways to handle an online class and it really depends on a). the strengths (or weaknesses) of the instructor and b). what kind of material is being discussed in said lecture. In my case, I’m no stranger to technology, so I picked up a USB microphone for $20 and grabbed Brooke’s sewing lamp from home in order to create a make-shift recording studio. I’m also using Screencastify, software built in to Chrome that lets me insert my voice and video in one of the four corners of my lecture slides and records the tab in Chrome into a video format stored on Google Drive. From there, I can download it and edit it (to a very limited degree…), and then post it to YouTube in a Private listing so I don’t have everyone on the planet viewing it (and getting lovely YouTube comments about how little hair I have).
Thus far, the lecturing has been working pretty well, I think. I’m recording each lecture in 30-40 minute chunks and I started with A&P I material, as that’s what I’ve most recently done and, consequently, can get more “comfortable with the camera” as I have more confidence with those lectures. I’ll get started on recording my Pathophysiology lectures next week, but after I get done with those, I’ve still got quite a few lecture slides to write in order to finish out the semester.
Luckily, Meg still has another week of school… I’ve got my work cut out for me…