What are factors that impact our ability to make curriculum change and what are our views about teaching online?

Jon Morris led a discussion with the faculty, asking us:

What are factors that impact our ability to make curriculum change?

– The university curriculum process can be very long and involved. If we have good ideas for curriculum change, we need a process that can make that possible.

– We need better communication with students. Students often aren’t aware of curriculum changes or offerings because they haven’t read the information we are providing. They aren’t reading the listserv messages we’re sending. They aren’t reading the student handbook. What can we do to better reach students? And we may need to “send” that message many ways to make sure that we reach them.

What are factors that impact our interest in and ability to teach online courses?

– Jon Morris conducted a survey of students at a Gainesville high school. One of the findings was that 56 percent had no interest in taking online courses.

– Juan Carlos Molleda says, “Online is not for everyone, but it has a great potential and we are looking for that potential.”

– Kim Walsh-Childers — Online courses not only allow students to be somewhere other than Gainesville but allow teachers to be teaching from another location.

– Judy Robinson talked about Coursera, which offers well-designed courses for free. These courses enable people with a shared interest to come together. The courses that some universities are offering online are great public relations for the university.

– Mike Foley expressed his concern about how he would convey the enthusiasm he shares in a face-to-face class in an online course. Many responses from colleagues about how to use the technology tools to convey enthusiasm.

– Leigh Seaman (Sea2Sea Media) asked us what was driving our interest in online learning — reaching a different audience, generating income?

– Howard Finberg (Poynter) said that the many concerns our faculty are having are issues that faculty are having across the country. But we need to respond to online teaching/learning. Every Florida high school student is required to take at least one online course for graduation. Can we re-imagine how we teach online? We can’t teach online just like we’re currently teaching. This is an opportunity.

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