Module 5 Activity: Planning Ahead

Introduction (Objective):


A. Develop a professional development plan to continue progress in mastery of online teaching.


B. If you do not have plans to teach online in the near future, reflect on your views of online teaching and learning now that you have completed this course.

Description (Assignment):

A. Professional Development Plan

If you are NOT submitting a plan, please scroll down to Reflection.

Part of effective teaching is the realization that we are not doing this alone. The more we engage our communities of practice the more we are tuned into better ideas, strategies, and technologies to move us forward with our teaching. In the final module of OL 2050, we discussed numerous resources at Penn State and beyond that are available to help us to continue to refine our mastery of online teaching. We also talked about the relationship between online and residential teaching and how both sets of practices are mutually reinforcing.

This activity asks you to think about what happens next. When this course, and program, are complete, what will you do in order to continually improve your teaching practice?

Think about what you would like to learn more about and then prioritize those skills. You may want to start by simply writing down a list of the next ten technical, administrative, and pedagogical skills you want to learn more about or learn how to do more effectively.

Step 1: Reflect

Briefly reflect on your identity as an online teacher. What do you think your role is and how do you think you will accomplish that role?

Step 2: Create a Plan

Based on the identity you would like to form as an online teacher, set some goals that you would like to pursue as a result of what you have learned and did not learn during this course. Here’s the structure for this step:

Short Term Goals

What would you like to learn in the next 1-3 months to advance your online teaching? Examples: Registering for another OL Course, etc.

  • Knowledge, Skill, or Competency
  • Activities or Courses
  • Support or Resources Needed from an Academic Program

Mid Term Goals

Within the next 3-6 months.

  • Knowledge, Skill, or Competency
  • Activities or Courses
  • Support or Resources Needed from an Academic Program

Long Term Goals

Within the next 2 years.

  • Knowledge, Skill, or Competency
  • Activities or Courses
  • Support or Resources Needed from an Academic Program

B. Reflection

Submit this Reflection only if you are NOT submitting a Professional Development Plan.

What are your current thoughts about online teaching and learning? Think about what your thoughts were about online teaching and learning up to the point where you first signed up for this course compared to where your thoughts are today.

What are some of the main benefits and limitations that you see in online teaching and learning? Think of this not only pedagogically, which has been the primary focus of this course, but structurally. The medium itself is sought after for particular student demographics, some of which we discussed in the first week, and makes post-secondary education or certificate attainment possible where it might otherwise be difficult or even impossible. Where is it a benefit, where might online education pose problems of barriers? There are also places where it makes pedagogical sense and places where it is pedagogically complicated or even impossible. Sort through some of these issues in your thoughts supporting with evidence where necessary to justify your claims.

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