An online course in Educational Psychology is in the works. My group of three professional and hard-working individuals has met, brainstormed, and kicked the project off the ground. Patrick Johnson, Sherrie Orr, and I are developing three learning modules for Dr. Byrd’s first-ever online class. We are helping her and her future students leveraging Second Life. Using learning modules, discussions, and research in-world this will be a top-notch course. Passionate about 21st century learners and the use of technology we are adding in-world activities to engage students and allow for them to visualize, experience, and immerse in learning.
Dr. Warren has kindly arranged a Moodle space for us to develop so that we can set up our online course design in the actual setting. This will provide us with a great opportunity not only to develop the paperwork that goes with the Instructional Design of an online course but also learn to set up the user interface. I took a Sloodle class today held by Fire Centaur to learn the use of the Second Life course management system. Sloode allows for seamless integration with Moodle and once I get access to the Moodle account, I will set it up.
Using Moodle and Sloodle we will be able to allow for both synchronous and asynchronous class discussions depending on student availability. We can have quizzes in-world that automatically submit grades to the Moodle grade-book, and we can have students create and share their work.
Using Second Life as a classroom Dr. Byrd can meet her class real-time and discuss topics from the book, invite presenters, and hold office hours. Being able to meet face-to-face with online students is priceless. Even if it’s only in the shape of an avatar on the screen, it provides the dispersed students with a sense of presence that they cannot get on a discussion board.
Our group will communicate using web2.0 technologies. Our initial meeting was a Skype conference call when we discussed our initial analysis that we had sent back and forth over email. We tried Google docs but a new folder feature in the Google interfaced messed us up and wouldn’t allow us to collaborate. We will also use Second Life as we test our learning modules and write the job aid.
Mostly this educational psychology course is an online course. As such, we will follow the guidelines set forth by MarylandOnline Quality Matters and their rubric for good online course development. Components that will be included are weekly reading, meetings, and discussion, podcasts, and videos. Students will be required to do weekly assignments, quizzes, and save materials for their final portfolios.
Our group’s challenge will be time as I see it. We have the team members, the passion, the spirit, the technology, the tools, the abilities needed. I know we can do this and do a great job with it. I have great confidence in our group.