- Discussions: I will definitely continue to include discussion forums in my online class, and I will actively participate in them.
- Use of blogs: One blog I researched for this module was Chemjobber. The purpose of this blog is to help chemistry majors find jobs. The blog may be accessed at http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/. I could use it as an assignment in which I ask students to provide a summary of jobs available for chemists. I could also use this blog as a discussion activity. In this case, I would ask students to choose a potential career and ask them to explain why this area would excite them. Another potential use for this blog would be for students to access it and post a comment or question about a certain career opportunity. This would provide students with experience in using blogs to obtain information.
- Use of polling: Free polls can be created at https://www.polleverywhere.com/signup. This could be a great tool to use in online courses. I could see it being used as an activity in which students are asked to create a poll on a certain topic. I could also use polling in my online class to evaluate students’ preconceived ideas about topics not yet covered.
My thoughts about using Social media in online courses:
As of now, I would not incorporate Twitter into my online course, mainly for issues with privacy. Unlike Facebook, in which the user personally has to accept friend requests, Twitter allows anyone to follow the user. This could lead to bullying, stalking, or even possible identity theft. In addition, I really could not find any benefits of using Twitter in online learning. From what I have seen, Twitter does allow one to follow politicians, groups, and events, keeping up to date on information. However, knowledge such as this can also become available by performing web searches and using resources that the instructor places in the online course. Also, I cannot see an advantage of using Twitter as a communication tool over chatrooms already set up in online courses.
However, I may be interested in using Facebook in my online courses. I could see myself using Facebook applications to create flashcards, simulations, and other learning tools. Discussion forums and group work can also be set up in Facebook. Since many students are familiar with Facebook, they may be more inclined to participate in these activities than in others that are used in conventional online courses. Perhaps I can set up a poll in my online course to determine if students would be interested in using this technology.