Managing Workload – OLC
This week we discussed techniques for managing workload within online courses. One issues many online instructors face is the feeling that we need to be available 24/7. Without that structured face-to-face time of an in-person course, our students can submit work, ask questions, be online at any time. Setting boundaries for responding to students was a common thread throughout discussions.
I actually feel like I do a pretty good job at managing workload. The technology I use helps quite a bit. Google Classroom makes distributing, collecting, and grading assignments relatively easy. I also do not grade for correctness on the weekly assignments. If students complete the assignment fully, they get the points. This is partly for workload management but more for student learning. The assignment questions are complex. I want to challenge them and force them to think about the content in a way different from the text, but it’s not a problem if they are wrong if they are putting in a serious attempt at learning the material. As long as they correct their misunderstanding with the provided feedback, they will gain knowledge from the assignments.
The feedback provided to the students for all the weekly assignments is group feedback. I create and record lecture-style videos that give answers to all the questions in the activity. I tell the students that they are responsible for assessing their work, so they are supposed to go through and see if their answers are sufficient. Each assignment is usually about 40-50 questions, so I really can’t check every student’s responses. For them to get feedback promptly, this is the best strategy.
Overall, I designed my courses hoping enrollment would grow.