Creating and Reshaping Upcoming Courses with Online Components
In the Hub Fellows Program, I propose to extend my experience facilitating online education this past year thoroughly into my 2021-22 teaching. As I do so, I would especially appreciate the opportunity to work with and learn from a diverse cohort of colleagues across disciplines. My proposed project has three main goals:
1) I will seek out additional reading and resources about online pedagogy and strategies, especially related to enhancing student participation while maintaining reasonable workloads for students and teachers. This reflective learning will form the basis of completing goals 2 and 3.
2) The largest goal for this proposal is that I will create two online graduate courses for the spring semester as part of the Religious Studies Department’s new nonprofit leadership graduate program. The format of these online graduate courses–five weeks long and worth two credits each–differs greatly from courses I currently teach, so I will need to carefully rethink what a syllabus should look like under these circumstances. Also, since my courses focus on social entrepreneurship, nongovernmental organizations, and religion/secularism in Asian countries, so there will be a major component using technology to help students envision international scenarios. In this respect, my Hub proposal dovetails with my ongoing work to create what I call “modules of international presence” that try to recreate elements of off-campus study experience within my MSU courses. In essence, I will design the two graduate online courses within D2L, with an eye to setting reasonable student workloads, facilitating engaging graduate-level discussion online, and creating an effective structure for intense yet compact course delivery. What I learn over the summer I would then share in two Fall semester workshops (perhaps hosted within the Hub?) for colleagues in my department, as they too are designing new graduate online courses within this unusual 5-week, 2-credit format.
3) I will revamp my fall semester courses by incorporating asynchronous online elements that can optimize our in-person meeting times. This includes digitizing some content delivery components of my REL350 Hinduism course and partially “flipping” the course for a more engaging classroom experience, as well as identifying asynchronous technologies that can support my REL480 Comparative Issues in Religion seminar.