BOT Reflection 2 (Module 2)

Course and a half syndrome (Originally posted Thursday, February 13, 2014) (see opening post for Module 2)

Course and a half syndrome – from https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/groups/sa/ltc/public/blended_web_presentations/07_Blended-integration_ALL/flash/index.htm

It’s the first time I have heard the phrase ‘Course and a half syndrome’, but I know exactly what it means.

I think I am partly guilty of doing this  (1.5 courses in one course) in the subjects I have helped write in the ELC. But at the same time there are other issues.

1. I think we have some good blended learning going on in the ELC courses. Teachers are using forums to interact with students online, and they do extend the class work to online work in different ways.

2. At the same time, because many teachers are suspicious of the extra workload that blended learning can bring, most of the online activities we create are computer graded. So students have a greater workload even if teachers do not.

3. Management (both from ELC and PolyU) is an issue. There appears to be an unspoken rule that 3 credit subjects need 42 hours of contact time (39 hours from next year), but at the same time there needs to be a blended element. In a sense this rule has created the ‘course and a half syndrome’. As we cannot (meaning course leaders are not allowed to) say to teachers that the f2f contact time is say 36 hours, with 6 hours devoted to online activities, then we end up having to add on things to create the online material, while keeping enough material for 42 hours of class time. Maybe there needs to be a change in understanding of what blended learning actually means – and that working online does not mean having time off which is perhaps what some in senior management believe.

Feedback receved

Post acknowledged – this issue is something we need to think about.

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