In the sense that certain components (ingredients) are always a part of designing lesson plans and providing an educational experience such as objectives, connections, procedures, assessment, and refinement and that proper implementation (baking, boiling…) yields, more often than not, a positive product (something pleasing), the recipe metaphor is applicable to the subject.
Just like blending, stirring, and mixing, proper implementation is crucial to any lesson inside or outside of the classroom.
According to what I think I have learned about designing online courses and teaching in general, three types of interaction, student-student, student-teacher, and student-content, are the focal points for developing instruction.
One of the first factors to consider is procedures for interaction. We have to communicate. Chat rooms, wikis, blogs, email, and other such media can be used.
Something to bear in mind is students’ level of expertise with technology and specific applications being used for the course. In our textbook, Online Education, Kearsley reminds us that, “Teaching a particular lesson or topic may take longer than in a traditional classroom because some students may take longer on their own to acquire skills or knowledge desired.” Just like in a regular classroom, teachers need to be aware of individual students’ needs.
Another point that Kearsley makes is that students react to input from teachers. In general, less input from teachers means less input from students. The human interaction is important.
Feedback from instructors is also important. The textbook warns us that a class containing over 30 students may be overwhelming. To deal with the workload teaching assistants could be used, but extensive training is a must. This is a good place to state the fact that these courses will flow much better with an instructor who is thoroughly familiar with the online environment and the programs being used. Peer-to-peer evaluation is another way to manage course activities.
Learner-centered philosophies are important in this type of course. Students need to be supported, but not directly told where to find a piece of information. I think that engagement should take the form of a game where students aren’t always sure of exactly what the teacher is asking, but they aren’t so unsure that they feel like giving up in the face of frustration.
I’m still thinking about assessment…