Behind the Scenes of an AOE Class
I am sure some of you are wondering what it’s really like to take an online class from AOE. Perhaps you have never taken a course online, or you are not sure how you gain information and interact with classmates without face to face contact. Maybe you are wondering about the technology used to run the course. I want to take you behind the scenes of what it’s like to take an AOE class to show you how simple it is to grow professionally online in YOUR content area. Today I can’t wait to show you a little more about our courses.
Let me walk you though some behind the scenes features of our online classes!
After you have signed up for a course and paid, you will be invited to the course and you will join the AOE online community. This is where all of our interactions begin. A great way to get to know a little more is to read our handy FAQ’s, which detail many of the commonly asked questions we get about our platform.
Our Platform: Ning
All of our courses are taught using a Discussion Board and the online platform of Ning. The instructor posts the assignments and students reply to the discussion in a forum, as well as attach assignments directly into the forum. No emailing back and forth or lost documents. Everything is housed in one simple place. Handouts, Syllabus, Assignments, web links and the occasional video tutorial are available directly in the class Discussion Board. The forum allows for very personal class interaction.
Lets talk more about the Discussion Boards. These are were all classmates interact. The instructor poses the assignment, (which can involve a discussion question, required readings, hands on activities, web quests, etc). We do our best to provide a variety of types of assignments – don’t all good teachers? :)
Below is a sample assignment from “The Element” (which starts up again on October 1st). You can see how participants will respond to the assignment in the “Reply” section below.
How do we Interact?
After you post your assignment in the forum, the fun part begins! We are able to interact with each other by replying in the discussion forum back and forth. The instructor will reply to every single one of your assignments with personalized feedback! Here at AOE we make sure to give you helpful, encouraging and thought-provoking ideas and feedback that you can take back and use immediately in your classroom! How’s that for individualized learning?
The neat thing about the discussion forums is you can also attach documents, so participants can view each others lessons, ideas, and even download them so you end up with resources from ALL of your classmates, in addition to those you create yourself for the assignments.
I have taken and taught so many classes over the years and I can honestly say I have gotten to know the AOE participants far better than even a face to face class. Think about it. When you are in a face to face class, you can get by with hardly talking with others or the instructor if you are just a warm body in the back on the room. With the AOE online classes, everyone participates, interacts and discusses the topics at hand, and in my opinion, at a richer and deeper level. It’s kind of like an Art Ed family we’ve created!
I hope this little sneak peek gives you an idea of what it might be like to engage with other art teachers online!
Be sure to check out our “Classes” page for all the details!
Questions? I’m always happen to answer!