In my attempt to broaden my horizon and learn new things while on sabbatical, I have signed up for an on-line, 10 week course on “humor writing”. It’s not so much about the course topic( I do plan on learning new things) than it is the digital delivery of the course. I know this is the way of the future but up until last week, it wasn’t on my computer screen.
I’m into week 2, and already I see the benefits of this virtual classroom. There are 16 of us, maximum capacity. We are from across the country stretching from Wisconsin, Virginia D.C., New York (of course) Virginia, Northwest Territories ( where Canada starts east of Alaska for the geographically challenged), Ottawa and Switzerland. We also have a self proclaimed Real Housewife of New Jersey and an Air Force Officer stationed in the Middle East. This really opens a world that would normally only have people from similar geography, albeit they could come from different places. Unlike most classrooms where you need to make eye contact to ask the proverbial…”so where are you from and why are you here”, on-line programs request a bio so you can get the scoop on everyone, all in the comfort of your home or Starbucks.
The course is set up like a classroom. I have”My Desk” area where the classroom roster along with syllabus are displayed. The Blackboard, where weekly lessons are shared. A Notebook where assignments and deadlines are posted. A Library for reference materials and like all good schools, a Lounge. No napping in this cyberspace! Our first “lounge” open meeting takes place next Monday night so I better break open some Molson beer, just like I did back in college.
Not only will our work be critiqued by the teacher but also our fellow students. I’ll consider posting some work if my grades are OK. Otherwise, you will just need to assume that all is well, even if it isn’t. Recall, I was the one who ate my way out of bad knife skills while at the Culinary Institute of America! (February 8th post) Wish me luck and success!