The always impressive John Hobbins has a fine post “Innovative Methods of Interactive Online Study” outlining the approach he uses in the course on the Bible and its reception, whose sessions he has been regaling us with details for some weeks now. This post is well worth reading by everyone interested in teaching using an online component. My only quibble is with the word “innovative” in the title which to me suggests doing something completely new, while it is precisely the detail of his approach, the precise and useful ways in which he adapts and changes well-established patterns of teaching using discussion forums which are the great strength and value of the post.
It makes me sad that in the coming years I am unlikely to be teaching in this way much and so will have little opportunity to use John’s ideas to refine and tweak my practice. Early retirement seems now a mixed blessing ;)
But if you are developing courses this post and its predecessors listing the resources for his sessions could be a fine stimulus to more creative and effective teaching. John has the same gift for well crafted questions that enabled Brian Smith on his retirement from Carey, teaching using Moodle for the very first time,1 to provoke nearly double the interaction of the next best teacher that year!
- As principal he had not had leisure to learn a new medium. [↩]