Stuff I’ve learned from the online courses I am taking right now:
1) so much cooler if the students have pictures attached to their profiles, even if the picture isn’t of them. Gives a better sense of online presence.
2) speaking of pictures, one class I am taking asked us to discuss an object in our own homes and to post a picture. I was thinking that students in my World class could do something like that — easy enough to take a picture with an iPhone or rented ipad from library, and it engages the reader in the discussion more than a simple text posting.
3) Very important for the teacher to involve herself in the online discussions. Not to necessarily correct people or insert her opinion, but just to be a presence so the students know they are held accountable for what is being put online, just as they would be for what they say in class. This will require more time than my online discussion posts in the past…