Know Thy Professor
Here's the deal, university administrators and a minority of faculty think that more and more courses should be on-line. Why? Well, they are not quite sure, but they think it's a good idea. Bean counting administrators think they will be able to cut costs by having larger classes and fewer faculty. Fortunately, for us teachers, this is not true. In fact it is just the opposite.
Others think that it will help the university be more competitive and fill admissions brochures with glossy pictures of eager beaver students sitting in front of computers. Yuck, the techno-university. Unfortunately, they are probably right there, and it will impress a lot of computer illiterate parents. Still other's think that by going on-line they will increase the quality of instruction and increase learning. This may be true in some cases; but not only is the jury still out, the administrators are still out to lunch. In actuality, this last one is up to you and hopefully this article will help.
Faculty get into Web-based teaching for three different reasons. You need to figure out which of the following characterizes your instructor (this is your first assignment):
Needless to say, the first type, the Techno-Polyanna, is the most dangerous and will involve the most work on your part. The second type, the Techno-Geek, will be a challenge, but can be easily impressed by superficial work. The last type, the Techno-Patsie, is really easy and can be fun to play with.
It is important for you to get an idea of just how much of the course is on-line and how much of that on-line interaction is required and graded. If a course is only partially Webbed, you may be able to skip the Web stuff totally unless you are a brown noser. If it is totally Webbed, you had better jump on-line fast.
See if you can fill in the following table (this is your second assignment):