For those of you who have been keeping up with me or if you’re enrolled in courses at UL Lafayette, you know we’re a little over halfway done with the semester.I wanted to do a mid-semester check in to show how my experience of taking an online course has been for me. The online course I’m enrolled in is English 474 – Document Design.
First off, communication between the class and our professor has been consistent and vital. Every week, he holds a Google Hangout video conference that we can attend live or watch later. He addresses all of the questions we have and gives us input on previous assignments.
Each week, we read a chapter from our textbook to learn a certain principle of document design. This principle is then demonstrated by us within our weekly assignments and we have a Moodle forum where we post our assignments for that week in. For one of our introductory assignments, we had to collaborate via Google Hangouts in order to come up with a definition for what document design is. It was a good icebreaker activity that helped us learn to use Google Hangouts as a means of communication. We are encouraged to comment on everyone’s assignment submissions. My classmates are very vocal and give good suggestions. Communication through the assignment forums are similar to emailing one another. If one of my classmates has a good suggestion, we can use Google Hangout’s instant messaging feature to speak about it in real time rather than e-mails, too!
The course didn’t directly jump into this weekly assignment format. We spent a month being introduced to the theories of document design with readings from our textbook. The format of the course has been consistent with the weekly assignments and three big projects that go along with what we are working with in the weekly assignments.
Dealing with the weekly assignments along with readings hasn’t been tough. I will admit that they are easy to forget about, because the assignments are small compared to the other things I do for my other courses during the week. Also, the assignments are due on Sunday of every week, so they are easy to put off. The way I’ve been making sure to do them is simply by setting reminders on my phone’s calendar throughout the week. Normally, the assignments are short, so I just do them the Sunday that they are due, but for projects, I continuously work on them throughout the duration we have to do them.
So far, we’ve only finished one project and I made a B on it. The first project was the remediation of a document into another medium. I took an essay I did earlier this semester and turned it into a PowerPoint presentation. It took me about four or five days to complete the project because it required us to also analyze how the content was reproduced in our remediation. Also, since I remediated the essay into a PowerPoint, I also had to do a script for what I would say if I were to present the PowerPoint. It was tough for me, because it was due around the time I had a test coming up in Finance 300 as well. Balancing my time has been the hardest part, but I’m adjusting and performing well.
I’m working on the second project currently, so we will see how that goes. I’ll be sure to make full wrap-up post about how the course was as a whole at the end of the semester.