This week I completed the online course to earn a Certificate for Online Adjunct Teaching (COAT). Although it was originally designed for adjunct instructors, I believe that anyone who teaches a fully online or blended course can definitely benefit from taking this course. Part of the value of this course is experiential. By taking an online course you experience exactly what it is like to be an online, distance, learner. I might go as far to say that anyone who intends to teach an online course must first take a course online to gain this invaluable perspective.
Though the COAT course for the most part focuses on facilitation there was time spent looking at pedagogy, andragogy and assessments. The interaction with fellow students/teachers was engaging and informative. I found that the timed pace of the course, along with grading of activities kept me focused and motivated. The instructor/facilitator, Dr. Muse, gave us excellent modeling to follow.
It’s personally invigorating to be taking courses again(after a break of a few years). My eyes are wide open to seeing examples of good online instructional design and effective tools. As always, it’s good to fill in any gaps in my knowledge and keep current in the field. Courses like these also inspire me to improve my own teaching.
If you’d like to check out the course for yourself(it is offered multiple times a year), then follow this link. The tuition, which I think is affordable, is $300 for Maryland residents.