As I highlighted in the overview I am particularly interested in making connections and making our digital learning spaces into places where we feel welcomed and belong. Inspired by another instructor in the program, Clint Lalonde, here is an outline of what you can expect from me in the course and how I will try to be present.
- Direct contact: I am usually fairly quick to respond to email messages (mharrison at royalroads dot ca), and at the minimum will respond within 24 hours unless there are outstanding circumstances.I work as a full time faculty member at TRU Open Learning, and though I am fairly flexible with my time, I am often busy during the day (8-5 am) PST. If you send me a message during that time, I could be delayed in responding.
- If you do want to connect synchronously then send me an email and we can Skype or teleconference. Evenings/Late afternoons Sunday-Wednesday are usually the best times.
- Presence in the course itself. I will be checking into the course most evenings (Thursday nights I am not home until after 8) and will participate actively in all the discussions in Moodle. I will be reading all of your blogs posts, but may not get to comment directly on all every week. As this course is built on the community that we are building and I am just one part of it, I am expecting that you will be engaging with one another in the course spaces, and likely out of those spaces as well. As we build throughout the course, I hope that you will be engaging more with one another and I will be less visibly present. During the weeks that you are working with your team, there might be less activity in the discussions and blogs. The course is designed to give you both time to connect with others, and time to work and think independently.
- Synchronous sessions: I will try to arrange collaborate sessions, particularly early in the course. I will send out a Doodle poll and will try to set a time to connect with as many of you as possible.
- I also may try to arrange a few twitter chats with other courses and will occasionally using the #RRUMALAT hashtag to draw your attention to interesting things I find/read/watch related to our course material. Consider this optional material and engage with it if you are interested. You can also DM me (@mkinchina).
- Assessment timelines: Your first assignment is not formally assessed until the end of week 4. I will be sending you some formative assessment on your early posts so you can work that into your first assignment. I do try to get your formal assignments back to you within a week (though the RRU policy is 10 days). I will also be monitoring your contributions to the learning community, and may occasionally prompt you if I see that you are not engaging regularly.
As highlighted above, I hope that we can build a welcoming and engagement community for you to explore the concepts in the course. There may be times where you might not be able to be as present as others. Please let me know, and more importantly your teammates, if there are times where you may not be able to participate as actively.