One of the most common themes from conversations during our few days at the annual Educause conference was that professors and teachers would like more help putting together online classes. They often want to do the classes, and their schools almost always want them to, but difficulty exists in knowing where and how to start. For that reason, I want to include topics in our blog with advice about teaching classes and look in particular at ways in which Rukuku is equipped to help teachers through the process.
The first of those topics relates to class materials. The world is full of exciting media resources and the range of possibilities expands daily. Professors and teachers in online environments can choose text, photos, illustrations, charts, tables, podcasts, other audio material, and video files, and they can create that content themselves or license it from other sources or even refer students to independent information sources on or offline. Teachers of online classes can take advantage of all these media to engage students, including those with less traditional learning styles.
At Rukuku, we make the process of creating and collecting materials for class very easy. Our Composer service allows teachers to cut and paste text and graphics or drag and drop files of any sort into a worksheet. In this way, a teacher can give a class lecture, offer background research, detail homework requirements, even suggest supplemental reading simply by creating a class worksheet. By incorporating existing materials, they may complete that process in minutes. Voila. Class preparation complete.
In our next post, we will discuss the essential element of personal, real-time interaction as well as the importance of prompt feedback.