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Converting technical communication courses to online delivery: learning objects, software tools, and delivery media in an e-learning environment

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1 Author(s)
Tesdell, L.S. ; Minnesota State Univ., Monkato, MN, USA

Some of us who teach, whether in academia or the workplace, are engaged in a shift from face-to-face to online course delivery. As we plan and implement this change we find ourselves considering a host of new concepts and tools including learning objects, software tools, and delivery media. Over the past four semesters I have been moving some of my courses to online delivery. I have an e-learning platform available at my university but I have found that a mix of learning objects, software tools, and delivery media can also work. I have also found that this shift from one type of delivery to another is an opportunity to try new ideas. Based on my experience to date, I advocate an eclectic approach using multiple learning objects, software tools, and delivery media (synchronous and asynchronous) to interact online with my students in such assignments as discussion boards, weblogs, exams, service learning projects, and writing or design projects. Second, I find that the term "converting" may be a misnomer since making a conventional face-to-face course into an online is probably something more akin to re-creation of that course. In this paper I reflect on my own experience in converting courses to online delivery in the hope that I will assist other instructors in making informed decisions as they go online with their courses. Then, in the second part of the paper, I present a small sample of student feedback.

Published in:

Professional Communication Conference, 2004. IPCC 2004. Proceedings. International

Date of Conference:

29 Sept.-1 Oct. 2004