First of all, I don’t recommend to ANYONE that they take more than one class during an 8 week term at Boise State. Toward the end of this term, I compared the experience to some decidedly unpleasant things that one might encounter in life. I will leave you to your guesses.
Second, I am happy to be done and I do not regret a moment. Next summer, I might choose to either take a single class or to not take a class at all. However, given this current summer to do over, I would probably have proceeded exactly the same way because that’s just the way I am.
With that said, I wish there were measures in place to prevent people like me from taking certain classes together during a short term. Either of the classes I took this summer would have been fine on their own. One of them might have been fine had it been paired with a different class. The other class should have been taken alone.
In ET 504, we read and wrote about learning theories in educational technology. I focused on transactional distance theory in online learning, which says that transactional distance is the space at the front of the class where people are becoming orientated and finding their voice.
Some people don’t think that TDT is a theory at all – it is more a “tautology,” something that is needlessly repeated. I don’t know. With few exceptions, I am pretty objective person. I don’t get bent out of shape over something that others might see as infringement on their ability to design a course properly. The great thing about distance learning is that it’s flexible and though I might agree that we don’t want to say “Oh, we want our students to have X amount of autonomy, so we need to incorporate this much dialogue and structure into our course,” I do think that it is neat to have guidelines.
Using TDT as simply a guide, we can look at our designed course online and based on the level of dialogue and structure that we perceive that course to have, we can make an estimate on the amount of autonomy our students might have. We’ll have to decide whether more or less autonomy is good or bad among ourselves and our colleagues.
ET 104 was a great class with an instructor that I have taken a class from in the past. I wish I could have been able to take the course over 16 weeks – that would have really helped me solidify some of the theory. It would have also been good for my ability to assimilate information – it was difficult for me to do this over such a short period of time.