Blogging the online learning experience

Yep, I’m going there. That place that moves students and faculty alike to fits of frustration (yet also smiles of pleasure): online learning.

I took my last online course in spring 2007, when I moved to Lexington. It was my second of two graduate courses offered in Blackboard by Northern Kentucky University. Both courses, and previous work I’d done in Blackboard for PBS Teacherline when I was employed by Cincinnati’s public television station, went fairly smoothly. Both NKU courses were project-centered courses, where I developed educational materials for my testing experiences. The professor was very experienced in online delivery, spelling out expectations clearly and knowing her technology. It was a good experience. I’m going back to NKU to take another graduate education class this summer.

Why? I’m notoriously practical at heart. I have a Kentucky secondary teaching certificate, and don’t intend to give it up. To keep it, I need six hours of graduate credit every five years (or a series of professional development opportunities that are harder to find and track when you aren’t in the classroom). I have a notion that one of these days, when my kids are less needy (by the way, will that EVER happen?) I might be interested in teaching an early bird class (classes offered outside the usual curriculum, before the school day begins) for one of the local high schools before I go to work in the morning. Something like Shakespeare. Okay, exactly like Shakespeare. I miss Will and the fun we had together. And perhaps one of these days I’ll break down and enter a doctoral program. Sampling classes is a nice way to think about direction. I need direction. I’m interested in everything. Except, right now, a doctoral program. (Yes, I know I used a couple of sentence fragments. Your English teacher told you there would be times you could use them for emphasis. That was one of those moments. Go back to sleep.)

I realize of course that it seems odd that I’m taking this course from another university. I work for the University of Kentucky. I actually oversee online learning support services. It’s not just about checking out the competition. 😉  It’s more that that I wanted to take a relevant course completely online, I wanted a single course for professional purposes, and I wanted to enroll without much hassle. NKU met all three criteria. Moreover, if I want to do more work toward this particular educational area, NKU offers more related online courses. Very seductive. I will be needing one more course before next summer … .

So I’ve decided to blog my experience. I write for my own pleasure (obviously, you say) and self-discovery, so this is a great way for me to explore what’s going on in online learning. I’ve already checked twice to see if my course is open. Yes, because I am THAT student. I am refraining (barely) from calling the Help Desk to ask when Summer II courses open. (Any of my staff reading are now rolling their eyes.) My books are in the mail to me, and I’m ready to go.

Ready to learn.


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