I never cease to be amazed at how far my institution and its instructors have come in some 10 years. Many (probably most) of our courses are supported by some sort of on-line materials (blended). There's still learning happening around how we best make use of on-line resources in a F2F classroom. We now have a large number of fully online coursee (asynchronous delivery).
Many instructors are subject matter experts/instructors first and computer geeks a distant second, so we are very fortunate that we have fabulous support in our teaching/learning centre--it makes blended/distance teaching "do-able" for many.
As a Curriculum Co-ordinator (and former teacher) I wear many hats from coach to project manager to co-developer and many things in between. Like many of my colleagues, I'm an "expert" in my area but I'm not a computer expert. I figure I need to know options and have others help me create those options.
With the preamble done, let me try and capture what I'm struggling with.
We use WebCT: there are pros and cons...it's what we use. Our courses are already quite rich, but I often question if we are addressing the "WIIFM" (what's in it for me?) for our students--in other words what will they get out of a blended or distance course that they won't get in a traditional F2F course?
The "cookie cutter" aspect of course design/development is that we now have standard features in our courses (which is important) but I think there's an opportunity to be lulled into thinking "that's it."
Our courses have
- standard resources (tutorials on netiquette, course outline, instructor contact information, general "housekeeping" content, for example) and links to common resources (library, tutorials, learning support);
- we have examples (often annotated--mouse over and/or voice over);
- we have links to eBooks in our institution's ebrary;
- we use threaded discussions; we use whiteboard lessons with voice over and videos;
- when we are given permission to use third-party materials (tutorials, videos, examples, etc), we incorporate them;
- we use on-line quizzes/exams;
- we use some on-line "lesson" material (not a lot) supported by textbooks.
- In some areas of our institution, we have tech-savvy instructors using iPods--but this resource is very much in its infancy for us, and so I can't address the quality of the "lessons."
What I'd like to know is what else could I recommend to my SMEs?--what other "things" that are simple and easy and will excite a non-tech-savvy SME? Something that makes sense, something they'll recognize as being an e-form of their F2F delivery, something that isn't overwhelming (and this last piece is really important).
Jim, I'd really like to know more about your archiving system and Wimba.