Hi colleagues, My provost just put out a set of expected guidelines for instructors in online classes that emphasize expectations around discussion forums (I pasted them below). These discussion forum expectations are very narrowly defined. I am needing group-think on references that might help me put together some “best practice” alternatives. If an article or other resource comes to mind, please share!
Online Faculty Expectations
Weekly Required (all weeks)
• Faculty will demonstrate their presence in the class 5 days per week
• Respond to all students’ (who post on-time) primary discussion post if you have 9 or fewer students (1/2 of students if you have 10 or more).
• Faculty with larger courses should take special care to post to different students each week.
• Faculty who provide a weekly zoom lecture need only post on the board two other times (on two different days for a total of two other posts).
• Provide individual feedback (posted in the feedback section of the gradebook) for all discussion grades within a reasonable timeframe for students to complete subsequent assignments.
Dayna Henry I balk at the admin trying to tell us what to do. At the same time, I am very angry with colleagues who did not actually offer anything in the way of virtual learning when we went online in spring. It’s hard to balance academic freedom with faculty who don’t care to learn/offer a new way of learning (for your institution). I also recognize the admin was not in their F2F courses either and likely the slacking was occurring there too. The problem is the students LOVE these folks for giving them an easy A/pass.
Cathy Curran For years I have said that administrators need to teach at least one each year or every other year. My Dean has been out of the classroom for over 20 years, the Provost for over 25 and the Chancellor has never taught. They have zero clue how to build or implement and online class. They keep making mandates that to those of us who do actually teach seem absurd. We know the “count and classify” nonsense never works but it is the same argument they use for numerical evaluations of teaching effectiveness: it is objective. The decisions they are making do not make instruction better they are all about power and control, they need us to “prove” that we are doing our job and somehow logging into the LMS five days a week does that. Sad really really sad. Well you know some do and other become administrators…
more on online discussions in this IMS blog