Web-enabled Courses

What do I have to know to include online components to my class?

To begin including online components in your class, first think about what you wish to accomplish with the online component. Will implementing this online component help with your teaching or student learning? If so, how? If you can’t answer these questions clearly, you should reconsider using the online component. Answering these questions will help you find the right tool to use in your course.

Does including an online component mean I’m teaching online? No, it just means you are utilizing online technology to facilitate part of the teaching and learning process. Below are some examples of how others have implemented online components into their course.

1. Online gradebook

Some instructors teach in a face to face environment, but wish to distribute grades via a gradebook in a learning management system. At the UofL this system is Moodle.

How does this component help? It decreases the number of times students will come to your door and ask what they got on such and such an assignment. It reduces answering emails with the same question, and it helps you weigh and calculate your grades appropriately.

2. Online Resources

Another common use of online components is putting resources for students up online. These resources can be the syllabus, PowerPoints from your lectures, pdfs for extra reading, or links to news and journal articles.

How does this component help? By including resources in a Learning Management System such as Moodle, you can cut down and eliminate handouts in class. By posting PowerPoints from your lectures before or after the class, you can allow your students to concentrate on what is going on in class rather than frantically scribbling down notes. Instead, students may be more focused on your teaching and participate in class discussion that helps them better understand the concepts taught in class.

3. Online Tutoring and Office Hours

In some cases, instructors who teach face to face, utilize an online communication system such as WebEx to hold virtual office hours or extra tutoring sessions.

How does this component help? It allows you to address many students at one time during your office hours. It also allows students who may have other obligations to attend online and post their question. It also allows you as the instructor to be able to hold your office hours from home if it is needed.

4. Blogging and Discussion

Student interaction can be enhanced by having them post written and visual content relevant to their course, or assignment to a blog or discussion forum. This will provide the opportunity for classmates to view and comment on other thoughts from fellow students

5. Surveys and Feedback

Some instructors like to receive feedback from their students and employ some way to collect these responses. An online surveying tool, such as Survey Monkey could be used, or responses could be obtained using a discussion forum or the feedback tool within Moodle. Other tools that could be used included audience response systems such as iClicker.

6. Testing and Assignments

In many cases, instructors on campus use Moodle to have students complete exams and to use the assignment drop box. Moodle has great components built in to facilitate these tasks.

To learn more about using exams or assignments in Moodle, please visit moodleanswers.com