Friday, June 29, 2012

How to Run a Terrrible Online Class

I'm taking an online class right now. I'll not mention the teacher, the title of the class, or the school in order to protect the guilty.

But Oh My Lord.

Here is my list of things to do if you want your online class to be completely ineffectual:

1. Ask students to post their opinions weekly, and don't provide any framework or conceptual structure. Their life experience is enough. Oh, and if the students are under 24 and really don't have any life experience, well, they can just say whatever they want.

2. Require everyone to make a certain number of responses. Require that these responses be "substantive." But don't publish any guidelines about what that means.

3. And for heaven's sake do NOT post anything yourself so students would have some sort of a model.

4. When grading homework, do NOT give smart feedback. Simply saying you "don't like" the answer given is more than enough.

5. Likewise, don't publish an answer key for quizzes and tests. Saying responses are right or wrong is more than enough.

6. Don't feel that you should write your own homework assignments. Cutting and pasting from the Web is fine. Intellectual honesty doesn't apply to you.

7. It's not necessary to actually ever teach. No need to waste your time with any webinars or anything. Just writing up the syllabus is enough!

8. Who needs objectives? Even a skills-based course can be evaluated with multiple choice and true/false questions.

Up to now I have not tried to teach any courses as an adjunct, because I had the mistaken notion that I might not be able to do a good job. One thing I've learned in this course is that I am *more* than qualified to teach as an adjunct. So thank you, Professor, at least for that much!


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