I’m in the second of eight weeks of training to be an online college instructor. Barclay College is starting an online bachelor’s program in Bible. Once I’m through with this training, I’ll be teaching classes online.
The first thing that surprised me was how intense the program is. Students (and, therefore, instructors) are required to log on to the discussion board five days every week. Some days they will post assignments; every day they should respond to the posts of other students.
Second, I am amazed with the vast number of powerful research tools that are available. Most of them are costly, and only available to students/profs, but some are free and accessible by everyone. The advanced search engines make Google look weak by comparison.
Third, I was startled to discover the geographical diversity of the little class I’m in. I think there are about six students living in Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, and Tennessee. Two of the students will spend the spring and summer in Brazil, where they’ll continue to take online classes/
Finally, I’m glad that Barclay is intentional about building a cyber community out of each of its classes. I haven’t been part of the system long enough to know how well it works, but they make a deliberate effort.