Home About Subscribe Search Member Area

Humanist Discussion Group

< Back to Volume 32

Humanist Archives: Nov. 21, 2018, 5:04 a.m. Humanist 32.209 - overworked, with opportunities

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 209.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2018-11-20 14:20:58+00:00
        From: Henry Schaffer 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.205: overworked, with opportunities

re: "course release"
We knew what it meant when it applied to teaching face-to-face sections.
It's not clear that we know what it really means when it comes to the
online courses and their development. Online includes synchronous,
asynchronous, and also MOOC types of courses.

What does "developing a course" mean in the online environment? It used to
mean developing a syllabus and a lecture schedule, reviewing possible
textbooks and choosing one (or more). Also possibly developing sample
homework/project assignments and maybe even sample exams. Then, the
expectation was that this could be handed to someone, probably you, maybe
someone else, to teach the course. The assumption was the person who took
that package and taught would then give the lectures, meet with the
students, give assignments/exams which had to be designed and graded, ...

What does this mean in the online course? Will "develop" also include
recording all the lectures (which could be traditional length, or in
smaller chunks), developing large test banks of exam question which can be
computer graded, providing chunks of helpful hints, perhaps by recording
short videos, which can be disgorged by the computer/LMS when exam
questions are missed or grades are too low, ...

Does this seem like too much for a one semester one course release? Let me
quote from an article about developing a MOOC.
"From the earliest murmurings of your MOOC development, several people will
have been involved. For efficiency, there needs to be an established team
with clearly defined roles. This will include several academics to both
write and present material, a videographer and video editor, a graphics
artist, project manager, text editor, and solicitor (where needed). Budgets
and schedules must be assembled including tasks to be completed, meeting
dates, etc." from Rule 5 from

Ten Simple Rules for Developing a MOOC       
David T. Manallack, Elizabeth Yuriev 2016

But the administrator (typically in the Dean's office) who never ever had to
work to do this type of development - "oh, just give a course release,
faculty will eat that up" is the response.  (Don't ask me how I know!)

My campus has a whole division https://delta.ncsu.edu/ and it isn't a small
division (look, e.g. at About DELTA -> People) devoted to this online
development. They really do produce great results, will the new hire with
one course release be able to compete?

--henry schaffer

Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted
List posts to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org
Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/
Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php

Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)

This site is maintained under a service level agreement by King's Digital Lab.