As in the previous years, we required the students to complete a pre-course survey. 9 out of 12 completed it. Here are the results:
A larger percentage of students than in past years have taken an online course before.
Also a larger percentage of students are quite familiar with TWEN. Therefore, technology-wise, this course has started without a hitch (except for the usual copying & pasting without removing formatting issues).
So changes to the course do not involve technology.
Last year’s post course surveys alerted the professor about the following concerns:
- t times many of the students were reiterating the same points and weren’t able to take discussion beyond those points contained in the readings.”
- “Some students in the course felt they needed to pontificate and write a treatise each week with regards to the readings, when in reality students were trying to have a conversation.”
- “There were 17 parallel discussions going on, with each one being totally separate from the others. Because students had to follow the scoring rubric in order to score points, you had the statements being repeated again and again with very few truly original ideas being put forward. “
- There was also a request for the professor to play a more active role in the discussion forums such as, guiding the conversation, explaining things that students might have missed, etc.
- More feedback was asked for also so that students know whether “their discussion posts were on-point or not.”
As a result, this semester, the professor has been participating in the discussion forums by commenting on students’ postings. She has also been emailing the class summary comments on students’ postings each week. She has been posting a comment in the TWEN gradebook to give guidance to students who lost more than 1 point in a discussion posting.