Learning new design ideas, discipline, and a little balance

As the module is coming to an end, I am catching up on all the work I’ve been (admittedly) procrastinating. Although I believe the content of this course is not difficult in any means, I do however, believe that the way the course is taught is EXTREMELY challenging and I am finding myself struggling to the point of discouragement. I am working very hard on every assignment that is asked of us but I feel like I cannot do anything right. Am I the only one feeling this way?

In any case, I committed to taking this course and will work diligently for the remainder of the summer to pass and do my very best. I hope it will be good enough.

So moving on…

I observed the Developmental Psychology course before I began writing this blog and I had a few first impressions that I wanted to share with my classmates. To begin, I logged into the course and immediately saw the “Course Announcements” section on the homepage. I thought this was a very important element for both academic and design purposes of the course. The student will immediately not what is expected of them and when as the course progresses.

Also, I really like the “Your Grade” section if you just scroll down a little more on the homepage. This feature shows the student their progress in the course by presenting it in a graphical way that is easy to follow. They can see how they are doing and if improvement is necessary in a particular aspect of the course.

As I kept clicking around, I came across a page entitled “Detailed Instructions for all Assignments”. Like many online courses, a document like this is usually presented so the students are aware of what is expected of them in the different parts of the course. What I liked particularly about this page, however, was how it specifically laid out the professors expectations in one spot for the student to refer to. If I was taking this course, I would print out each webpage and whole punch them in a binder. That way, I have easy access to the documents if I have any questions as I complete various assignments.

One negative that I want to point out is the “Coffee House” section of the course that is meant to be a social spot for students in the course to interact and “socialize”. To be honest, I am not sure if I understand the purpose of this in an online environment. Sure, we all know it is important to foster interaction in an online course, however, students that generally are taking these classes are not doing it to “socialize”. I believe most students do it because of the flexibility and convenience that comes with distance learning. When I started clicking around in the Coffee House of the Developmental Psychology course, I noticed that no posts have been made to any board! Obviously, these students are too busy to even bother with just saying “hey” to their classmates. This is where face-to-face learning differs drastically from distance learning as the “social” and peer-to-peer aspect is obviously hindered…no matter how much the professor encourages it!

I apologize for not including any scholarly articles in this blog post. To be honest, I wanted to focus on getting this blog complete so I can work on the rest of the discussion and my Course Information documents that are due tomorrow. I am about half way through them and I want to make sure I do well. I am happy though that I observed that class before I completed all of my assignments because I gained new perspectives on how courses are designed and instructed outside of my Institution’s standard online courses. (3)

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