Update! Here is what the online students have to say about the live sessions. I polled my students in class this week, and they reported finding the live session discussion in many ways better than a face-to-face classroom discussion. They like that everyone knows everyone’s name (it is under their face on the screen). They felt that this increased student-student interaction, as opposed to the more common student-teacher interaction which dominates the typical classroom. They also said that the way that everyone is represented on the screen (we look like the Brady Bunch) promotes discussion because each student feels like an equal in the “classroom”. They felt that shy students were more likely to speak out. Granted, this is a small class, so it is more intimate than a discussion classroom with 18 students in it. Which makes me more convinced that small class size is essential if the online class is to give a comparable classroom experience as is found in a typical seminar class. But then that is true for the traditional classroom as well. The smaller the class size, the more attention each student gets, and the more responsibility they must assume for the discussion.
Update on Bioethics!
by Carole Browne on April 8, 2014