The Pennsylvania State University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 2997-3002
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
In January 2008, the online version of Art History 111, a survey of Western art from Prehistory through the Gothic Era, made its debut. The follow-up course, Art History 112 (Renaissance through Modern), debuted in fall 2012. Although I spent two years developing each course with the help of the e-Learning Institute at The Pennsylvania State University, neither one received a warm student reception right away. One of the greatest challenges facing students in both courses was fear of the unknown. Students were unfamiliar with the online lesson delivery and online assessments, and they had no clear concept of the time required to complete weekly lessons. In addition, most students found the complexity of the material to be very intimidating. Without reassuring guidance, students facing these conditions can feel overwhelmed and even hostile. We counteracted this situation by creating a clear orientation, targeted tutorials, and tools to help the students budget their time. The result was increased student confidence, both in navigating the online course environment and in successfully mastering the material. In each of the two art history surveys, our solutions resulted in fewer negative and more positive student emails, improved performance on essay exams, and better student satisfaction in exit surveys. In my paper, I will briefly discuss Art History 111 and 112 online and their student populations, the problems we encountered with each course, our solutions, and the results of those improvements. With modifications, the strategic approaches that we developed for online art history surveys could be applied to nearly any other online course.
Tutorials, student confidence, orientation, time management.