Each week, Symposium provides a blogging forum for the week’s featured article. This week’s author is Prof. Linda Essig. You can read her blog here and follow her on Twitter @LindaInPhoenix.Tomorrow marks the beginning of the first day of classes for fall semester at my university. I am teaching two: Foundations of Arts Entrepreneurship, which is in a traditional classroom, and Arts Management, which is completely online. As I finalize the preparation of materials for both, I’m noticing a certain amount of structural isomorphism developing.
In an attempt to provide online students with opportunities to exercise networked thinking (see my article in this month’s issue) and inter-personal communications, I’m creating discussion forums on a blogging platform. It’s an effort to provide students in the live class who are not comfortable speaking up in the public forum of a classroom opportunities to network with other students and course content via a similar platform.
As more “traditional” faculty acclimated to teaching in a classroom learn to use online teaching tools, we’ll see more and more of this – online courses that resemble live interaction, and live courses that are essentially hybrids, using content delivery tools developed for online courses in combination with personal interaction.
The “massive open online course” concept is only two years old. Although an article in The New York Times this past Sunday noted that MOOCs “have not yet produced profound change,” they can perhaps be credited with accelerating the pace with which the professoriate is integrating online tools into hybrid formats like mine, in what we call the “flipped classroom.”