|Obviously, this is an online course!
But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of interaction with teachers. We call our teachers "Learning Guides" here at Pionline.
|Here's how online classes work:
The student is enrolled after payment is received, and an email link and validation key are sent. The student is automatically enrolled for the specified number of weeks, and the curriculum is completely self-revealing after that point. The student logs in and is then presented with a weekly list of assignments, videos to watch, web links to follow and read, and PDF and PowerPoint presentations to review or download for later review. In addition, there will be homework assignments, paperwork and documents to create, and books that will need to be purchased and reported on. Downloading and keeping my PowerPoint presentations and PDF papers for the individual classes so you can review them at some future time is always encouraged. At the end of each week, there will be a quiz. Each Sunday, the new weekly cycle starts, and Moodle will reveal a new module for the upcoming week to begin their new assignments.
|Point number one; Students will need a reasonably fast and reliable connection to the Internet and at least four hours a day of Internet access for study. Students will spend lots of time using internet resources in these classes. In addition, the software we will be downloading throughout the course (all free)will require a modern computer and operating system to work correctly.
Point number two; a printer will be required. It's necessary. There's excellent information at websites like Wikipedia, and we will use the wiki form of a hypertext encyclopedia in many of our teaching aids. Students will need to print out a lot of stuff, so a printer, paper, ink cartridges, and a stapler is a must!
There is a "Learning Guide" for each course. These learning guides are people. Specifically, a few other humans and I included and are seasoned veterans of the touring production industry. These Learning Guides oversee their classes and students, answer all forms of questions and provide support and feedback as students progress through the class. The Learning Guide will also moderate a forum for each topic and subject in the class. Forums are a post and respond type of message board. Yet, they are always active in real-time, so they are like a slow-motion conversation that the Learning Guide can visit several times throughout the day and respond to. Many of us are professionals who spend an inordinate amount of time at our desks behind computers, so we constantly keep an eye on this stuff. The advantage here is that we use these persistent forums as a "blackboard" for extended teaching. Students can log in anytime and review all of the information in the class and the logs of the chats and extended classroom training sessions as well as these forums. Students post their questions and observations in the forums, and the Learning guide will respond with answers and more questions and pointers to further reading and learning. That way, many students can benefit from the questions, answers, and responses of those posted.
The Learning Guide for that course will set a schedule and lead at least two online, interactive webinar-style class sessions per week. We limit these online class sessions to 60-90 minutes apiece. I prefer to use Google Talk because Google will support a large "group" voice chat, and the quality is quite good. These interactive sessions may sometimes be text chat only or video chat or voice chat, but these sessions are one of the most important aspects of the course. These sessions allow students to interact directly with us and get real-time answers to their toughest questions. Students must be self-motivated for the rest of the week and complete their reading and paperwork on time to receive their full grades. There will be weekly quizzes for a grade. There is a final for the entire course that will be extremely challenging. Yup, just like a real school!
Point three; A good headset for audio is essential. A headset with a single ear-muff and a boom mic is approximately $20 for a decent one. However, don't buy a cheap one! They don't work very well...In addition, get a webcam so we can video chat with the entire class!
The Learning Guides will be responsible for issuing final grades for classes and students. They will have little leeway to influence grades. These classes are based on participation and delivering the assigned documents and homework on time. There are grades in a few classes that are subjective choices by the Learning Guide. But they are very few. There will be assignments to author specific types of production documents, and these assignments will be uploaded to the forums for the Learning Guide and classmates to review. An essential part of this program involves students interacting with one another in the process of mutual discovery.
Last modified: Thursday, 5 August 2021, 1:25 PM