Late Nights and Weekends: On-Demand Learning and Examination of Timestamps to Facilitate Responsive Online Teaching
Abstract: Asynchronous online courses offer opportunities to reach students who can be anywhere in the world, at times convenient to learners, with increased flexibility for instructors. As faculty members leading an asynchronous online master's program, we encourage our students to engage with us, with their peers, and with course resources, and we see engagement as a critical tool for learning. Our students are all K-12 teachers pursuing advanced teaching credentials. There usually are students from several time zones in any one course. Many have additional family and community responsibilities. While there are firm due dates built into our courses, students are given windows of time to participate in course forums and submit assignments. As faculty members at a primarily physical university, we are expected to be available during regular work-days (8-5, M-F). However, as instructors in a large online program, to be responsive to our students, we also put in many additional hours outside of the standard work week. Our attempt to negotiate work-life balance drew us to ask, "What do timestamps for student posts to course Question Forums reveal about when students in our program are working in the course?" We looked at 27 courses across an academic year, plotting days and times of student logins, specifically looking at times students asked questions that need instructor answers. We present our initial findings and interpretations and discuss implications.
Presider: Rebecca M. Reese, Colorado School of Mines