Saturday, March 29, 2008

Follow up to AP U.S. History Review Observation

I received answers to a few more of my questions about the virtual AP U.S. History study/review session (see post below). I was pleased to find out that the interactive Elluminate presentation was designed by the teacher. From my perspective, giving up design control is one of the down sides to virtual teaching. As I pointed out in earlier posts, instructional designers create the courses. While teachers occasionally provide input, their job is primarily to facilitate the content and grade assignments. I was thrilled to see that teachers could supplement the content with study sessions and additional activities to support the lessons. This is not required. But, the students who participated seemed to benefit from the experience.

There were only 4 students in the session I observed. The teacher explained that she had recently taken this class over from another teacher who left before the semester was over. Those students were not familiar with her study sessions, so fewer attended. She generally has 10-12 students participating at a time for her American Government class.

Next week, we are going to meet to walk through the course from a course management perspective. I've had the opportunity to review all of the lessons. But, I don't have access that allows me to see students. I'm hoping to get a better understanding of assignment submissions and grading as a result of our meeting.

1 comment:

JeanneW said...

Later this week I'll observe a live Elluminate lesson for a sixth grade language arts class. I am very interested to see how the students and teacher interact, how well they seem to know each other, and how many children actually participate. Though I've enjoyed using Elluminate to communicate with my virtual teacher, I doubt I fully appreciate it as a teaching tool. My virtual teacher, who has fully embraced Elluminate, said some virtual teachers choose not to use it at all. Personally, I can't imagine why. To me, it seems like the highlight of the program. Thanks for sharing your experience.