My Online Course Prototype Development, so far

Sign welcoming visitors to Yukon Territory, Canada

I am an outlier in this course. I am the only Yukoner in the crowd and the only one not teaching in a school. This influenced my decision on the topic for the course development assignment. I am an Instructor in the Early Learning Program at Yukon University and teach adult learners. I chose one of my favorite courses, EL 130 Guiding Young Children. I wish to improve upon what I am already doing by examining what I have done and how that can be improved. I will teach the course again this Fall, and I want to apply what I learn from this course to the offering.

This course is fully online, as I teach students who live in rural communities and can not travel to Whitehorse. As a face-to-face version of this course is offered in Whitehorse, a hybrid delivery model is not used. The other instructor (who teaches on campus) and I collaborate and assign the same assignments, yet we have different teaching experiences. One of the challenges of online teaching is the barrier of the computer can make it difficult to create relationships with other people in the Zoom meeting, It is particularly challenging to assist the students in forming relationships with each other, as people from multiple rural communities enroll in the course.

The course’s main objective is that students will learn to guide young children to develop a healthy and positive self-concept. A compelling question to be answered by the students as the course develops is “What is child guidance?”

Since that is rather vague, supporting questions of

  • What role does the environment play in child guidance?
  • How is social and emotional learning connected to child guidance?
  • What role do children, educators and community play in guidance strategies in early childhood?
  • How is culture connected to child guidance and social and emotional learning?

The last question regarding the role of culture is very important as it is a goal of the EL program that multiple voices are heard. The course attempts to offer a holistic worldview that is less Eurocentric and more encompassing of multiple belief systems.

I am curious to see how I improve upon this course. There are some challenges to teaching a fully online course but there are also many possibilities to try different things. I am excited to try to create a new, improved version!


Make Things Better - Growth and Improvement

One thought on “My Online Course Prototype Development, so far

  1. Hi, Laura! It’s awesome to have someone with a bit of a different background in the course! Makes for more interesting discussions! 🙂

    For the last two years, I have actually taught at my school division’s online school. This school was created pre-COVID, but expanded as a K-12 school during COVID. Even after all COVID-related restrictions were lifted, it remained as a K-12 school.

    As an online teacher teaching mainly asynchronous classes, I face the same struggles as you. That is to say, it is not easy building relationships with students, nor is it easy getting the students to build relationships with each other. At my school division, we did use Microsoft TEAMS as a means to video-chat with students and TEAMS also has a chat function that students would use to connect with me; in this manner, I was able to get to know some of my students fairly well. However, it was very hard to facilitate interaction and engagement between students. This is something that I wish to focus on in my own course development!

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