UC Riverside is part of the UC Online project. Of the current 23 online class in the UC roster, 4 are taught by UCR faculty and in the coming months and quarters, more online classes, and more UCR faculty, will join.
This transformation is happening with the support of amazing and courageous Teaching Assistants, who often jump onto these classes and their challenging pedagogical tasks with barely any training.
On February 19th we are going to start easing that transition to online interactivity in the academic context. It’s going to be a conversation, an introduction, a training session. Hopefully, it will become a common exchange, a regular reunion among instructors, be they faculty or TA, exchanging views and methods about engagement, assessment, feed back and communication with students in a new context. See the flyer for the session here: DigitalPedagogies. If you are in the neighborhood and are interested in joining, send me an email and join us.
In the attached flyer I make the claim that teaching online is as good, and sometime better, than F-2-F teaching. The same goes for teaching with just some digital elements in a hybrid class. More exposure and interaction is simply better – especially in our large lecture classes. My current Tweepardy (Jeoaprdy on Twitter in class) experiment in the #ChassW14 class is a great example of how social media and technology can harness the attention and minds of 60 students, who are collaborating and competing at the same time.
The live-tweeting of the lecture is having a similar effect. Live-tweets are individual and personal perspectives on a shared moment, and when pooled together in a storify project for example, they provide everyone with a valuable revision of the lecture, as well as a perspective on how the community experienced it.
These online interactions create a community among students, who become a community of learners, a community of collaborators and a community of tweeters who are engaged in the material for far longer than the 180 minutes a week we spend in class together.
Ergo – digital tools rule.