21st-century pre-semester preparation requires effect-driven objectives.
What do I want the students to experience, no matter if we are in the classroom or meeting online?
What parts of the course can I make easily accessible and present online, so precious classroom time is saved for discussion and in-depth understanding?
The debate between what I want for my students, what resources I use, and the limits on what I CAN do is the essence of the resource-doctrine divide. Once I was able to prioritize the desired effects I found myself deep in the tactical. Maneuvering to change my reality.
In order to fulfill my primary objectives – engaged learning and personal engagement with the students, I’ve had to go rogue and move beyond Zoom, as well as make significant advances in how I present the material.
Which led me to the techno-tactical. I’ve had to hack a sound studio in my home office, learning about audio and its impact on streaming video, piecemeal-together lighting as cheaply as possible, and more.
I also figured out how to connect my old DSLR camera so that I’m not a blob on screen. Learned all about streaming programs like OBS with addons. And I am working to connect midi programs, streaming software, and PowerPoint so students feel like they are watching a smooth production.. Oh, and then I’ve had to find time with less noise in the house to record some of the course to be used for the online learning sections. I’ve also had to relearn video editing software that KEEPS CHANGING and wait for painfully slow internet to upload the VERY short clips I’ve created.
All while deep-diving into the updated online learning system from the University, so that the hybrid coursework will be interactive and not boooooooriiiiing…..And I’m doing this so that when (not if but when) we have to go back to distance learning the students will remain engaged with interesting online interactions. All that while keeping up with the literature and updating the course material…I’ve learned a bunch of new skills in a whole new field.
And yes I’m exhausted though the semester hasn’t even started yet.
So worth it!