Busy June 5: online English course design

One of the gifs for ‘The Adventurer’s Guide’ – see end of post

5) course design. For the distance learning organisation I work for, I am in the process of updating the Literature IGCSE and A-Levels that are run, due to changes in the texts studied. With an update of the online platform we use to one that supports more media features, I’m starting to think outside the written page and move toward designing additional resources that are audio, and perhaps visually, based.

For students that are independent learners, support needs to come from all angles for the student to be sufficiently ‘buoyant’. Also, with my move to full-time teaching and my increase in online students, I need to minimise the reliance they feel towards me as my ability to answer their emails becomes less. Audio resources of ‘their master’s voice’ for example could help, with explanations of the other resources, or extra detail that makes them feel like someone is reading the text resources with them. I also have some differently-abled students that would benefit from a different approach to make their learning process smoother.

The other advantage perhaps of visual aids is their ability to go viral – memes, infographics, posters. Combining the audio and visual in a youtube or vimeo video clip could also be an option, although I’m not exactly photogenic for that purpose (when we use Skype, I look a lot like a pink balloon) . I’ll certainly document any interesting findings in the process of making these on here, as it’s my job for the next two weeks.

I’m also meant to be starting to design a creative writing course. Now *that* should be fun. I did a basic, children-oriented one last year, called ‘The Adventurer’s Guide’, as a preliminary project. It was a weekly email-based course that I then archived for later use, and which can still be found at Blackboard Fiction – go here and find the passage behind the bookshelf, or just be boring and click this link: http://www.blackboardfiction.com/theadventurersguide

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