The Arc of an Online Class

Source cited: “The Fab Ten of Online Ed” by GraceAnne A. DeCandido, American Libraries, December 2009, p31.

Prompt for today:  Who are these women watching???     Create tension with an approaching character or characters involved in action.


women with brooms

“Ten things you need to know about online classes, with a little help from the Beatles”

(by GraceAnne A. DeCandido)

1. The Long and Winding Road: Taking a class online is more work than an in-person class. You have to read more and faster, interact with your classmates more, log in almost daily to see what is going on, and keep up.

2. We Can Work It Out: Everybody has a life. In online classes, these lives tend to be even more complicated. Many of my online students have children or elder parents to care for, part- or full-time jobs, chronic illnesses of their own or of family members. No matter what accident or crisis has befallen you, I can guarantee at least two other students this semester are suffering through it, right now.

3. Eight Days a Week: We work asynchronously, but not alone. Work needs to be completed and shared within its unit and section dates, but when you do it is up to you.

4. I’m Looking Through You:  An online course in literature requires intense reading and thoughtful responses. It is not, however, a therapy session nor a confessional. Think carefully about personal stories and how they relate to the book in hand.

5. Don’t Let Me Down: Your lack of planning does not constitute your instructor’s emergency. The class is available 24/7, the instructor is not.

6. Things We Said Today: You will probably get to know your classmates and your instructor better than you could ever do in a face-to-face classroom.

7. Getting Better: Know what technology will be used, and learn how to use it. Make sure you have your own email address and that it displays your name. Be comfortable online.

8. A Hard Day’s Night: This is a graduate course. Spelling, grammar, usage, and style all count, as they would in any written assignment on the graduate level. This is not a place for IM, texting, or other abbreviated methods of communication. The exception to this rule is live Chat.

9. Here Comes the Sun: Practice *netiquette.* Practice courtesy and good manners. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” says Philo of Alexandria, and I say it, too.

10. Yesterday: In an online class, you can see the whole arc of the term  from the beginning, and see your own arc of understanding and knowledge and even wisdom unfold before you. You can share that with your classmates. It is made of awesome.

Kaye LindenThe Arc of an Online Class

2 Comments on “The Arc of an Online Class”

  1. Connie Morrison

    Hi Kaye…I once took a course through Coursera (free through Penn). It was Modern & Comtemporary Poetry. I lasted two sessions. I enjoyed the instructor’s videos, but the email interaction had so many different topics, I was lost. They had over 8,000 people sign up for it.

  2. Kaye Linden

    Thanks for your comment, Connie. I can’t believe there were so many people signed up. An online class takes so much time that it is all consuming. k.

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