I went to a faculty forum for online classes, attended by a provost, many deans, as well as faculty that will be teaching such classes (like me). There is a big, big push this year (actually a pull--they are enticing us with money) for tenure/tenure-track faculty to teach online summer classes.
Two senior faculty discussed their experiences and gave some thoughtful advice. It was a pretty good forum. So I'm coming along to the idea of online classes.
Except for one thing. Both profs noted that they found that they couldn't shift the writing assignments from the semester course to the 5-wk online summer course. Students just couldn't keep up, for example, with 7 papers in 5 weeks. So mid-semester they cut down the number of papers, in response to student complaints.
Doesn't that imply that summer school is easier (he said this would have been the case for any summer class)? And why in the world can't the student write 7 papers in 5 weeks if they could write them in 15 weeks? They are only taking 1 or 2 classes in summer.
Well, I REALLY touched a nerve by asking if this were the case. The faculty weren't bothered by it (and several nodded their heads at the question). But oh my did the summer/online administration get defensive! And no, they did not suggest that student culture/expectations needed to be addressed. Their main response was that, well, not all classes are appropriate for online teaching.
New York Times has a recent article on the growth of online classes, especially at public universities.
Do you all have any insights? Is your university/college pushing for online courses? In summer only (like my U) or all year round?