About three years ago I began to take online courses to soak up some slack time and give me new ways to go about being a teacher. I’ve taken courses from Washington state, Manitoba, Iowa, California and, most recently, Colorado, Florida, and some organization that is widely dispersed.
Last week I dropped two of the three courses in which I was enrolled. No big deal, they were free. The first course I dropped out of was about making the contents of things I might post online for others to use accessible to people with different kinds of disabilities. It was run by the community colleges of Colorado, and was there to get the staff of those colleges into compliance with the law of the land. My problem was that it was all about how to use your college-owned microsoft software to do the job. I’m a cheapskate who doesn’t use microsoft. I couldn’t do the assignments. I bailed out.
The second course I dropped, just this morning, was focused on adult education, particularly on helping people who dropped out of school before finishing high school up to speed for their GED (or equivalent) examinations and to meet the standards for college readiness. I agree this is good to do, but it’s not what I do in Taiwan. So after confusion with how to comply with standards and where to go to get materials for bringing people up to standards in Math (not my field), also bailed.
In the remaining course, on Design for Blended learning (also known as Hybrid learning), I’ve placed all of my eggs, and spent a lot of time and attention yesterday catching up with assignments that I’d done poorly while spinning my wheels in the ones I dropped. Nonetheless, I have become frustrated. For each week’s assignments, besides this blog post, I’ve got to submit several documents. However, when I go to upload them, or send urls, or whatever, I’m having problems. I’m not satisfied with the work-arounds I’ve come up with.
Writing the assignments has been good for me. What I’ve developed and saved as google documents should serve me well when I go back to Taiwan and try to put this and other courses into an online/face-to-face format for use there. But just getting through the course to learn it all is driving me mad.