I love teaching “live and in color,” but I seem to be busy in front of my computer, designing courses. If someone needs to learn a language, they are more likely to do in online; so I might as well meet the need.
As a teacher, I would teach a class to my students and go have a cup of coffee. Now since I am not sure who my students will be, I need to be a lot more careful about my content. I find myself reworking and editing it. If I can’t interact personally with my students, I need to express myself through graphic design and photography. I need to pull in the student through the computer screen and welcome him or her to a new world, a new culture, a new language.
My course objectives–the first impression of the course–need to ignite the imagination of prospective students who may have had an exhausting day at a tedious job, or may have a baby crying in the background, or may not be totally convinced about taking the course.
I use all the media I can to capture the student who learns visually, or audibly, or even kinetically. How do I reach the student who learns kinetically? I try my best through graphics.
But that’s it; I try my best. No instructional designer is highly skilled at all the disciplines needed.
Some don’t have a good voice for narration. Others are not artistically inclined. Some may be challenged technically. Sometimes the material can shine through these weaknesses. Sometimes a motivated student can wade through the course and succeed.
I needed to develop my own graphics for the Hebrew course because few graphic designers know Hebrew well enough to fool around with the letters. I finally created my own avatars to match the spirit of the course. It took a lot more work than I thought. And the bad thing about a learning curve is that once you are up on the curve, you look down to see what you did before and know that you will start all over again. But you don’t mind because now you know how to do it–even though it’s midnight.
So here’s the link to my courses: see what you think. More to come.