What should a program and a teacher be thinking about right now in preparation for serving students online in FY13?
Start by thinking about your goals for online learning for the upcoming fiscal year. How many students do you want to serve to consider yourself successful?
There are some things to think about when determining this number. It should not just be arbitrary number, an “oh 15 sounds good” kind of thing. You might need to look at your programs requirements, for example a college might have a number of students specified in order for an online class to be a go. The teacher should be on your mind too. You should think about if the teacher is a seasoned veteran therefore is able to handle a larger online class roster. Is the teacher new, so he/she has a learning curve related to teaching and learning online? How will you get that teacher up to speed so he/she is ready to work with students? How many students can a new teacher really handle?
My advice (based on our experience since 2002) would be to start small and grow your online learning offering. There is always so much to learn when a new curriculum is introduced. The teacher must get familiar with it and that takes time. There are processes and procedures to be ironed out too. Often times starting with a large number of students makes some of these things more difficult. You know, almost like biting off more than you can chew.
What else should programs be thinking about when planning for FY13 and online learning? What are your thoughts on this?