This week I finished adding everything into my Schoology course, created resource folders for each individual week, and did my absolute best to ensure a smooth flowing transitional layout for easy use by future students. After much consideration, I decided on the individual resource folders within each week because I felt that would be the most user friendly and least confusing way for students to know exactly which materials they would be utilizing at specific times throughout the course.
While creating this course, I have thought of a multitude of potential opportunities to enhance learning environments for our students at LIT.
We have a Fluid Power (INTC 1358) class, which deals with hydraulics and pneumatics in everyday lives as well as industrial applications. This is normally a lecture only class, where we try to share several videos to help students grasp and visualize the concepts we are talking about. Having an online version of this class would allow students to access the videos and other material at their own pace, as well as spend one-on-one time with the simulation software, rather than watching me click through various options on an overhead projector.
We also have a Cooperative Education (INTC 2480) class, where enrolled students are working in the industrial field while completing their education. This course is to allow students to gain field experience while finishing school to have a beneficial upper hand when it comes time to find jobs upon graduation. As of now, students enrolled in the co-op course do not have a designated face-to-face class time; however, they must make time to come to campus once a week to check in and complete necessary paperwork at various points in the semester. If we were to transition this course to an online format, we could have weekly discussion boards where students not only “checked in” with me as their instructor, but also shared their field experience with other students and collaborated on the potential possibilities of working environments that are available to them as instrumentation technicians in this area. Allowing and encouraging students to share their experiences with each other before graduating will open doors to students who are unaware of the potential jobs they could possibly obtain with their new degree. Sharing information about their various working environments, schedules, materials, coworkers, and other factors will also help students identify potential jobs they would like to stay away from. This will not only help our students land jobs where they will be happy and grow, but it will also help the reputation of LIT from preventing students from leaving jobs shortly after starting due to lack of knowledge about the job.
I have thoroughly enjoyed creating this online course, and I am looking forward to incorporating the online learning environment in many of my classes in the near future.