Well, I did it! I actually taught an online class in a live session. It was an amazing experience. Technically, it was challenging. I am technologically impaired. But with the help of the Semester Online Faculty Support and Brenda Knox, I was able to get everyone into the classroom within minutes of the class start time. What was amazing about it was that it is really no different than teaching a face to face class with respect to how the discussion with the students went. In one way it was even better. In a regular classroom you might lose the attention of the students in the back row halfway through the class. But in the online classroom, every student is in the front row. As you look into the camera, you are making eye contact with each of them simultaneously. I have a small section, so I can’t say how that would work with 16 students, but I was very happy with how it looked and felt with my small class.
Using the “flipped classroom” concept, where the students do the readings and exercises and view the videos before class, was also rewarding. The students were in general well prepared for the discussion. I finished the class with not a sigh of relief but a sense of exultation. All of the work had paid off! Now if I can just keep track of all those drop down menus and little boxes….