Teaching Online Courses – A Separate Animal
Using CommonView, GoPost, CollectIt, WebQ, and other Catalyst Tools, Dr. Natalie Jolly, who teaches online classes in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the UW Tacoma, has found the means to engage online students in new ways to create a participatory dynamic that she finds richer than the normal classroom experience:
"That has been so profound for me ... I cannot even stress [how] the degree of participation and the level of engagement in the fully online classes is so much higher than in the face-to-face classes."
Using Catalyst Web Tools like GoPost to foster student engagement and discussion as well as CommonView and CollectIt for course organization, Dr. Jolly has embraced the "separate" animal that is online teaching. One of the surprise for Dr. Jolly was the enthusiasm and engagement of her online students in class discussions:
"Each student gets to participate in the conversation … and because they have unlimited time, they are able to put so much more into their analysis and response. You do not get the knee-jerk reactions that you get in the classroom. I was worried there would be flaming on the boards, but it is the opposite: it is much more thoughtful… in the classroom it can be tense, but online it's not like that."
With online classes becoming more and more popular, instructors like Dr. Jolly are finding that using tools like Catalyst can help them create a learning atmosphere that is both rich and participatory without the traditional classroom setting.