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January 30, 2012

Crazy Mondays – Project 6 Hours Accountability

The first two weeks of the semester are just crazy, and there is no way I want to write down all that I do to make my courses successful during that time. It’s just too much work. So week 3 seems more like a better place to start to give people a picture of what it is like to teach online in Maricopa. I like to think of my Mondays as online days. I don’t want to be bothered with meetings on campus or any other work related stuff that doesn’t directly link to my teaching. If I had my way, I’d stay home all day and work in my pajamas on Mondays, but I don’t have my way. So here’s the run down for Monday of Week 3.

At 8:30am, I logged onto Canvas on my home PC and started grading my ENG102 online assignments. They had two assignments due on Sunday by midnight. One was an assignment uploaded to Canvas; the second was an assignment completed in Diigo. I worked for 2.5 hours grading those assignments. The Diigo assignment takes more time because it’s not a traditional assignment. I have to check 10 bookmarked links per student. This is a double class (2 online in one) with 42 students. I was able to finish grading both assignments in 2.5 hours only because not all of the students did both assignments. During this process, in Canvas, I can send out messages to students who didn’t complete the assignment, reminding them that they can still do it for 10% off. I try to make these messages sound encouraging – “You can do it. Don’t give up.”

I also answered emails and a few text messages during this time. This is the hardest part to keep track of. Well, actually Google (Gmail/Voice) does a great job of keeping track of all the emails and texts I get from students, but for me to actually put a time on what I spend responding, that’s difficult. I’m going to go with a straight 1 minute per text, and students never send just one. There’s always follow up, and of course, I don’t want to be rude, so I always respond back with “You’re welcome” after they’ve thank me for being so accessible.

Moving on the the afternoon. I had a 12pm Hiring Committee Meeting on campus, so I sat around and reviewed internal applicants for the technology training position on campus until 1:45pm. While doing that, I answered two emails and 1 text message from students. We shall call this double accountability.

My normal Monday morning usually includes creating Weekly Podcasts for all 4 online courses, so I spent from 2-5pm doing that in my office at school. Since I was at school, I used my iMac to create video podcasts for ENG102/CRE101 hybrid and ENH295 online using iMovie. I will have to do my ENG101 and ENG102 online classes tomorrow morning, as I ran out of time. Campus is a ghost town after 5pm.

So let’s talk about why it takes my 3 hours to create to video podcasts that are between 5-8 minutes long. At home I could probably do it in 2 hours, but here, well my door is open, and people come in. It’s very social at work, so I’m interrupted several times during my process, and it takes time to get back into the editing flow. I don’t mind, but it takes time. If my job paid me for my time to do my job, I’m sure I’d be required to close my door and shut the world out so I can work. Also the network on campus is slow. The time it takes to upload a video to YouTube seems like it’s double.

Monday: 7.5 hours of accountability

Read more in the series:  Project 6 Hours Accountability – New Blog Series

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