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View Full Version : CoT Discussion Thread: Weigh in with YOUR opinion!



Ivy Artemisia
September 15th, 2010, 11:01 AM
Hello everyone!

This thread is to discuss the future of the CoT. the CoT has existed here in many forms- as forums here as part of the actual MW, and also in Moodle and then aTutor, which allowed teachers more goodies and fun ways to teach their classes. Both mediums had their pros, and both mediums had their cons. But both mediums also had issues that transcended the mediums.

I took a lot of time with the two classes I taught (Wicca 101 and Spellcrafting), created a structured syllabus and stuck it out, even when my life was a PITA. I took it seriously, as did a few of my students. But I'd start with 75 students, and end up with 6 (who were awesome, since my classes involved homework). As a teacher, this can be frustrating, especially when considering the amount of time I put into my lessons and homework correction. A student might feel the same frustration putting in the work in a class, when a teacher up and disappears.

To recap- our main problems: Teachers who flaked out/ burned out before the class ended (sometimes without communication) and... students who flaked out. This doesn't happen in a pay-for-teaching model, but that's not something we are looking at. We want this to be a community-driven service. Teaching by us, for us.

The admin team has been discussing ways to bring the CoT back. This has included ideas of self-guided courses- which would eliminate the need for teacher feedback. These courses would most likely have information and exercises for you to try, but wouldn't have much (if any) teacher feedback and would have no deadlines.

What do you feel that we could do to bring back the CoT? Do you even feel like we should bring it back? The CoT is supposed to be community driven. What do you think that we can do to make CoT better and to make it work?

Ivy Artemisia
September 15th, 2010, 11:02 AM
Hello The admin team has been discussing ways to bring the CoT back. This has included ideas of self-guided courses- which would eliminate the need for teacher feedback. These courses would most likely have information and exercises for you to try, but wouldn't have much (if any) teacher feedback and would have no deadlines.

This is not my favorite idea, but I am a feedback-needy kinda gal. I know many people are not. :)

lightdragon
September 15th, 2010, 11:47 AM
I would say the quote about a self-guided course would probably be the best option. due to the number of teachers and students dropping out.

Octavia Agiel
September 15th, 2010, 02:57 PM
I would hate to see CoT just fizzle out, and I think a lot of people would agree. Self-paced courses are better than no courses at all IMO. :uhhuhuh:

DarkLadyIre
September 15th, 2010, 04:28 PM
< Has already expressed willingness to teach a course here to another admin.
Haven't heard back yet, however.

CoT is a fantastic tool, for people, a great way to build confidence for people, with a passion for learning and teaching.

People are always going to "flake-out" but I think this does not need to be an issue particularly.

The teacher can still post his or her course, still offering that information to the members, and if any student needs one to one time, then the teacher should be commited enough to ensure each student can receive the support they need.

This is the teacher-student mutal respect. That 1) The teacher will agree to turn up and teach the subject they have stated, and provide support to the students, and 2) That the student agrees to turn up to participate and allow the teacher to guide them.

I think ridding the CoT would be a really sad thing, for all.

Ivy Artemisia
September 15th, 2010, 08:36 PM
< Has already expressed willingness to teach a course here to another admin.
Haven't heard back yet, however.

Who did you contact? I will follow up. If you like, you can send me a PM with your course outline.




People are always going to "flake-out" but I think this does not need to be an issue particularly.

The teacher can still post his or her course, still offering that information to the members, and if any student needs one to one time, then the teacher should be commited enough to ensure each student can receive the support they need.

This is the teacher-student mutal respect. That 1) The teacher will agree to turn up and teach the subject they have stated, and provide support to the students, and 2) That the student agrees to turn up to participate and allow the teacher to guide them.


This has been the problem in the past. Sure, the teacher should offer support to their students, but this hasn't been happening. The students should show up and do what is expected of them. I believe out of seven or eight teachers teaching while I've been adminning the CoT, one teacher finished teaching their course. One. And that's me.

Teaching/taking classes online is VERY different from in-person. It's a lot easier to blow off logging on and completing homework online than it is in-person. The Wicca 101 class I taught on CoT was very close to what I teach in-person (minus the hands on and traditional portion, of course). I've also mentored many people online through IM for years. It's a very different process and a very different feeling, for lack of a better word.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for the end of CoT, but it's evident that change is needed.

We need serious teachers. Teachers who will NOT flake. If this means that instead of a 10 week class, one teaches 2 five week classes instead, then that might help. We need teachers with stable lifestyles to teach, people who do not expect that their internet will be turned off indefinitely, etc. Also, on the other end, we need students to respect the work and time that goes into creating these classes.

IndigoRising
September 15th, 2010, 08:46 PM
I am actually greatly looking forward to the opportunity to teach for the Cot. and I will be there

SilverClaw
September 15th, 2010, 08:46 PM
Well I have always thought that the software used in the COT over the last few years has been a waste. I would much rather have it the way to was prior when we were able to have our subforum and control and organize it. Students had a lot less issue then with being able to view the material and doing their assignments. As well as teachers were not wasting thier time with buggy software.

And as for the self guided courses some of those were available in the old COT forum where the teachers were available only if needed. So if that is the route the admins decide to go then I guess that is the way it goes. But I do not see why there would be any need for the software then.



To recap- our main problems: Teachers who flaked out/ burned out before the class ended (sometimes without communication) and... students who flaked out. I do agree that this has been an issue from the start way back in 2004 till now, but at the same time you should know that things offline happen and sometimes it is not possible to contact you or any of the past admins to let them know what is going on. I mean it is not like we as teachers can actually phone you or snail mail you. So maybe to cause less issue with this we need to come up with another safe way to be able to let you know if we as teachers can or cannot continue a class or find a fill in teacher.



This doesn't happen in a pay-for-teaching model, but that's not something we are looking at. We want this to be a community-driven service. Teaching by us, for us. Ya actually it does happen Ivy both online and in real life.


Another issue is for this whole thing about having the class done and ready to present all at once is not feasible though I do understand why it is a rule. My classes go according to what the students need and having to revise it ( Especially with the software as it is )would be a problem and I know I am not the only person who thinks this rule causes its own problems either.



We need serious teachers. Teachers who will NOT flake. If this means that instead of a 10 week class, one teaches 2 five week classes instead, then that might help. We need teachers with stable lifestyles to teach, people who do not expect that their internet will be turned off indefinitely, etc. Also, on the other end, we need students to respect the work and time that goes into creating these classesThere are many of us who are serious but not all of us live in a perfect world, and sorry Ivy I find it a bit rude you talk about people flaking out and you have done the same thing where you have had to cancel classes you were going to offer last minute.

Anyways I also think that the shortened class time line would be a good idea. One thing I have tried with my classes is making sure the students do not have time to get bored . So that means have more stuff to do and instead of always having the two week deadline for assignments some of them are a week or sometimes even less.

Ivy Artemisia
September 15th, 2010, 09:11 PM
Well I have always thought that the software used in the COT over the last few years has been a waste. I would much rather have it the way to was prior when we were able to have our subforum and control and organize it. Students had a lot less issue then with being able to view the material and doing their assignments. As well as teachers were not wasting thier time with buggy software.

You are correct, new computer software is sometimes difficult for people to learn. It wasn't very buggy, but it was complicated, and moodle, especially is used in many college curriculums. aTutor was easier, but not as easy as forums for most people.


I mean it is not like we as teachers can actually phone you or snail mail you. So maybe to cause less issue with this we need to come up with another safe way to be able to let you know if we as teachers can or cannot continue a class or find a fill in teacher.

I can give teachers my phone number. I'm good with that and probably will do that in the future. Teachers commit to a class, and should do everything they can to actually be able to teach it. Sure, life gets in the way, but if someone's life is prone to getting in the way, said person shouldn't sign up to teach. Their energy is better focused toward whatever tends to get in the way. Perhaps I'm expecting too much, but I've had to trek it down to internet cafe's to be able to get my students papers graded when I said I'd do it.

You quoted me as this:


This doesn't happen in a pay-for-teaching model, but that's not something we are looking at. We want this to be a community-driven service. Teaching by us, for us.

and said this:


Ya actually it does happen Ivy both online and in real life.

But I don't understand what you mean.

*****************

In regards to the "have your whole class (1/2-whole, depending on teaching history) done before you post it rule," this was a new rule, and was meant to keep people from flaking out. It worked. I can think of at the very least, one person who told me they'd teach several times, but never posted their class, due to issues. I'm glad. If they had posted their class and flaked out twice during the duration, it would just leave more students without a class.

This rule may be removed, depending upon many reasons. I'm working a new idea, now, actually.

I want CoT to be awesome. But we need to have committed people on both sides to make that happen.

Dracula's Widow
September 15th, 2010, 10:00 PM
Self-guided courses certainly would work - and thanks for being an awesome teacher, Ivy!

Be well,
Xiri

lightdragon
September 15th, 2010, 10:39 PM
But I don't understand what you mean.

I can't speak for her but I think she means that even a pay-for-teaching model teachers will bail.




I want CoT to be awesome. But we need to have committed people on both sides to make that happen.
at current rate the option you don't really want is the best option.

However If you want the CoT teaching to be awesome. then reviewing them would have to be stricter. also they would have to provide at least one substitute teacher if they can not continue with the course. I'm not sure if that was discussed.

SilverClaw
September 15th, 2010, 11:41 PM
I can give teachers my phone number. I'm good with that and probably will do that in the future. Teachers commit to a class, and should do everything they can to actually be able to teach it. Sure, life gets in the way, but if someone's life is prone to getting in the way, said person shouldn't sign up to teach. Their energy is better focused toward whatever tends to get in the way. Perhaps I'm expecting too much, but I've had to trek it down to internet cafe's to be able to get my students papers graded when I said I'd do it. I would appreciate it if you could do that with the phone number because I know for myself sometimes I have been offline a lot longer then I said I would be and had no way of contacting you.

And ya I think in some cases you do expect to much because not everyone has the money or the access of a library or internet cafe. I know that has been a problem for me in the past. If I had such access I would not have cancelled some of my classes.



Originally Posted by Ivy
This doesn't happen in a pay-for-teaching model, but that's not something we are looking at. We want this to be a community-driven service. Teaching by us, for us.
and said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverClaw
Ya actually it does happen Ivy both online and in real life.
But I don't understand what you mean. I was just making the point that having a paid service does not always guarantee the teacher or students would not bail out that is all.




In regards to the "have your whole class (1/2-whole, depending on teaching history) done before you post it rule," this was a new rule, and was meant to keep people from flaking out. It worked. I can think of at the very least, one person who told me they'd teach several times, but never posted their class, due to issues. I'm glad. If they had posted their class and flaked out twice during the duration, it would just leave more students without a class. As I said I understood the reason for the rule I just found it hard to be able to do one whole class at once and I know others did too.


This rule may be removed, depending upon many reasons. I'm working a new idea, now, actually. Look forward to hearing what your new ideas are.


I want CoT to be awesome. But we need to have committed people on both sides to make that happen.
I agree and now that I am somewhat stable and kids are all back in public school I can definitely focus on my classes again. So when things are running let me know what I can do ok ? :)

SilverClaw
September 15th, 2010, 11:43 PM
However If you want the CoT teaching to be awesome. then reviewing them would have to be stricter. also they would have to provide at least one substitute teacher if they can not continue with the course. I'm not sure if that was discussed.
We have tried the substitute teacher option before and it did not work out very well.

Annyka
September 16th, 2010, 08:13 AM
< Has already expressed willingness to teach a course here to another admin.
Haven't heard back yet, however.

CoT is a fantastic tool, for people, a great way to build confidence for people, with a passion for learning and teaching.

People are always going to "flake-out" but I think this does not need to be an issue particularly.

The teacher can still post his or her course, still offering that information to the members, and if any student needs one to one time, then the teacher should be commited enough to ensure each student can receive the support they need.

This is the teacher-student mutal respect. That 1) The teacher will agree to turn up and teach the subject they have stated, and provide support to the students, and 2) That the student agrees to turn up to participate and allow the teacher to guide them.

I think ridding the CoT would be a really sad thing, for all.

This was pretty much what I was going to say and suggest

Also, I am willing to teach a class. I did apply on the website some time back ago but never heard back. I guessed it was because it was no longer active.

I am a qualified teacher that is currently on temporary retirement to be a SAHM, so have no qualms about dedicating my time at this stage in my life or being serious about it.

~*Sacred*~
September 16th, 2010, 11:45 AM
I am so excited that we are getting somewhere w/ the CoT topic!!! Self-guided is something that works for me, as is a structured class - just as long as it doesn't die out!

Caitlin.ann
September 16th, 2010, 11:52 AM
I'd really like COT to continue and be a student, but nursing school comes first, so I need a class that will allow me some leeway with getting assignments in on time. I also miss the regular ol' forum template. I could never figure out the newer COT site. I learned a lot from COT over the years in both the ongoing and archived classes.

~*Sacred*~
September 16th, 2010, 11:57 AM
I'd really like COT to continue and be a student, but nursing school comes first, so I need a class that will allow me some leeway with getting assignments in on time. I also miss the regular ol' forum template. I could never figure out the newer COT site. I learned a lot from COT over the years in both the ongoing and archived classes.
100% ditto

MonSno_LeeDra
September 16th, 2010, 02:25 PM
I think there are to many issues here to really give a reasonable answer.

I know the change of serves resulted in a lot of issues in the COT. Made it difficult to hold a connection to a course in progress when all the material vanished. Made it equally difficult to have an attachment when one did not know if it would happen again. I saw people active in a course before it occured that were no longer active after it.

I know for me personally I prefer a schedule that moves in a standard time frame. To draw it out over months simply makes me loose interest. It also seems to imply that my time is not of such worth that it becomes hit or miss.

That hit or miss becoming even more of an issue when I try to go online to access the material only to discover the site once again is down. I realize the teachers have no control over that facet but when time is a factor and you give your time and attention to schedle such and the site is gone doesn't do much to motivate you to keep trying to come back.

I think the other discouraging thing is when you expect or anticipate the course to be dynamic and it turns out to be one or two people contributing it tends to loose its appeal. Again my perspective only but I prefer to read and hear other's thoughs and opinions on the material. Makes more room for growth and potential for said growth.

If it is to be self paced and somewhat closed then why do I need the course really? I can find a book or video for that.

lightdragon
September 16th, 2010, 02:39 PM
I think there are to many issues here to really give a reasonable answer.

I know the change of serves resulted in a lot of issues in the COT. Made it difficult to hold a connection to a course in progress when all the material vanished. Made it equally difficult to have an attachment when one did not know if it would happen again. I saw people active in a course before it occured that were no longer active after it.
IMO i think that was only part of the reason for the present condition.




I think the other discouraging thing is when you expect or anticipate the course to be dynamic and it turns out to be one or two people contributing it tends to loose its appeal. Again my perspective only but I prefer to read and hear other's thoughs and opinions on the material. Makes more room for growth and potential for said growth.
again maybe one or two aspects of the course. I took one course in there. The system was never down and more than one or two people were contributing. both the teacher and students had no problems working with the software. The teacher just never came back. I have to check if she came back recently. And she was damned determined to have that course set up. asking multiple times to have it done.



If it is to be self paced and somewhat closed then why do I need the course really? I can find a book or video for that.
because it's free and a lot of people can't buy a lot of books or know where to look. If the self paced courses were pay to see then I would agree with you.

ETA: just checked on the teacher. She just created an account at the time and posted less than 150 posts. and left three months later and so far never came back and this is over a year ago. to me it looks like some of the teachers do not take position seriously nor this place.

lunamare
September 20th, 2010, 01:05 PM
I had a couple of courses I wanted to take completely flake out before they started or we got a week into it and the teacher disappeared. I had a great experience with Ivy's course, but, the others left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I stopped trying to sign up when I saw that no activity was happening over there.

Personally, I like self-driven classes because I can go at my own pace, but, I also like the idea of a teacher who can guide me.

Thanks for discussing this and trying to come up with a feasible solution for everyone.

Fireheart
September 20th, 2010, 04:47 PM
I think it might be nice for an entire course to be posted. People can work through at their own pace and get feedback from the teacher or other students. That way, if say someone has a free weekend, they can do a lot of assignments. Then if the next couple weeks they're slammed, it's ok. Maybe have a deadline for the entire course to be completed, rather than individual assignments.

Or, a teacher could submit an entire course to the admins for approval, THEN post it for the students.

Ivy Artemisia
September 21st, 2010, 02:44 PM
Thanks for all of your comments. I'm working on a revamp that will take your suggestions to heart. :)

Kaylara
November 13th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Should we take a poll of the community and see how much interest there is? I mean, I don't think it's nice to you to have you do a huge amount of work if the community isn't interested. We could send out a global email, asking some questions.