Week 3 of the course, and thanks for the patience of my students and thanks to Aerius for my allergies. There I’ve counted my blessings. We have a small group from across the globe, students and a teacher with a busy work life, so scheduling synchronous class time is challenging. I asked the students in a poll on our Course Management System (Angel) if they wanted synchronous meeting times. Students are evenly split. So I decided to dip into the research to see what the evidence says (see Zotero Group – Open Educational Resources). My quick read is that it is the quality of the interaction that makes the difference, rather than the interaction happening at the same time. In fact there seems to be evidence that asynchronous discussions are of higher quality (makes sense, you have time to think about what you’re going to say). If we don’t all meet at the same time will we have the same sense of community? Maybe that will (at least in part) be up to the instructor to make sure our discussions are happening and we’re having a chance to comment on each other’s blogs. I think I definitely have room for improvement on that front!
The course content is proving very interesting and timely. Just last week our Vice Provost (Academic Affairs) sent a memo out to the University of Manitoba academic community about the imminent expiration Access Copyright license. Talk about a teachable moment!