Defining the problem
There is a discrepancy between the face-to-face TE 150 class and the online TE 150 class. Students in both sections are not getting the same experiences. Both classes have their advantages and disadvantages, but there needs to be more harmony between the two in terms of content, assignments, course goals, type of course management system used etc... The online TE 150 has not been updated since 2008 whereas the face-to-face section has undergone major updates.
My plan is to re-design the various aspects of online TE 150 class to make it more comparable to its face-to-face equivalent.
Approaching the problem
Since I am not responsible for the course, I think the best approach is to meet with the online TE 150 course coordinator and compare the contents from both course modes. We will then decide on the content as well as on the organization of the course to match the updated content. From there, I can work on updating the syllabus, assignments, and other course material.
The main way I plan to approach this design problem is by communicating with the various stakeholders.
Researching the problem
In terms of research, since I am already a TA for both sections of the course, I have the resources for the face-to-face TE 150 course which I have been teaching for the past three years. However, since I have been a TA for the online section for less than a semester, I would like to speak with previous online TE 150 TAs to get their opinions on how they would improve the course. I am also planning on talking with the other (new) online TE 150 TA for her input and perspective. I can also get in contact with previous TE 150 students (from both the face-to-face and online sections) and get their input on the most meaningful/memorable lessons and assignments from the course.
Currently, the student-student and student-instructor interactions are occurring on Moodle discussion forums. These interactions seem ‘artificial’. I would like to include more technology use in the online course that goes beyond discussion forums. Therefore, I will need to research the tech tools available that will provide the students with a more meaningful experience.