Achieving a Successful Transition from Classroom to Online Teaching

Friday, January 6, 2012: 2:30 PM
Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
William A. Paquette, Tidewater Community College
The challenge of teaching community college history survey courses after twenty-five years in the traditional student passive learning, teacher dominated lecture method was to find alternatives to keep the content fresh, the students motivated, and eliminating faculty burnout.  In 2000, the Virginia Community College System began a ten-year institutional partnership in the MERLOT (Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) Project.  For ten years I served as a member of the MERLOT History Team, nine of them as Editor.  In that ten year period I learned how to judge online website content on the basis of content quality, effectiveness of teaching, and ease of (navigation) use.  In the process of creating peer reviews of history based websites, I began the process of creating online based assignments that utilized some or all of each website’s content.  Over ten years I began to change my classroom courses by requiring students to do online assignments posted on MERLOT.  Thus, began the process of transitioning both myself and my students away from the textbook to online resources.  In the process I learned that I had to revamp how I taught from a teacher dominated lecture component to a course that was both classroom and online based (a hybrid course) that became active learning, student centered instruction.  After seven years of slowly moving from classroom to hybrid, I launched an entirely online class that eventually exchanged all of my classroom courses for online ones.  This session will outline the advantages and disadvantages of classroom, hybrid, and online courses with emphasis on how to successfully create a history online survey course (United States, Western, or World) that ultimately produces better student learning, a richer and more diverse learning environment, and promotes faculty professional development.
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