Sunday, September 12, 2010

San Francisco EGA, An OpEd Piece about the Seminar

I am newly home from San Francisco where I taught classes for 6 days EGA's National Seminar. I had a great time, but isn't it always true that the best part of a trip is coming home again.

This year I tried something novel: I taught Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler at the seminar while I also taught Echoes of Elizabeth Sewing Case online. Simultaneously. Each morning before I went to my face-to-face class at seminar, I posted a lesson for my online students. Each I posted photos both on my website and in my secret classroom for my online group with the hopes of givinf my online students a taste of what it was like to attend a seminar.

On the last day of my four-day face-to-face class at seminar, I snapped a photo of each of my students and the progress she had made in four days of class and I posted the photos for my online group. It made me realize, class at seminar is over, but my online class continues.

As I said goodbye to my seminar students, I thought: there is much to be gained by teacher and students meeting face to face, but I also began to recognize that online students have advantages also.

Face to face at seminars, teachers and students have the obvious advantage of meeting and spending time together.
In online classes we do miss the face to face friendships and explanations, but we do gain something too. That something is time.

In an online class we have the luxury of extended time. Running the two classes simultaneously, I realize how compact my face to face seminar class was. Instead of posting my online lessons each day to match my face-to-face class, I normally would have posted my online lessons once a week.

Now, as I said, my face to face seminar class is over, but my online class stretches on. It continues for the rest of September. Then it will go on hiatus for two months so that people have a chance to complete the stitching. In early December, my online class will resume and we will cover the finishing.

When considering face-to-face classes vs online classes, it seems we swap the great advantage of seeing each other in person for the luxury of extended class time.

Gay Ann

1 comment:

Sylvia said...

Gay Ann, We do that at the university where I teach. We call it blended learning. Part of the class is face to face and part online. We have one model that is used for a program we have abroad where the instructor teaches there in person for a week to 10 days. The rest of the course is taught during the remainder of the 10 week quarter using an online format. The teacher does not necessarily go at the beginning of the quarter. There are often readings and prep work the students have to do before the instructor arrives much like you did with the nun stitching for echos of Elizabeth. So I think you could devise a very successful blended model for stitching.