Hi Dee,
Yes, indeed. I started teaching online using a combination of a basic website and a virtual classroom about 10 years ago. Rather early on in online learning, I realized that developing a full-blown website was prohibitively time-consuming and simply an exercise in futility since updating it in a timely fashion became a virtual impossibility. I also realized that teaching online asynchronously was... well, boring. I missed the spontaneous debating, the back 'n forth, the warmth of verbal contact that had mad eme become a university professor in the first place. So I lessened my dependance on asynch and added the synch classroom and have never looked back. I now teach graduate courses only and I get the chance to work with highly-motivated students from across the country and even overseas. They are all present and accounted for, every Tuesday afternoon from 4:30 to 7:30 PM with a 20-minute break in the middle, just like on-campus. Students tell me that the much-vaunted 24/7 online course ends up being 0/0 since, for some reason or another, they say they never seem to get around to doing the work required in an online course. They say they feel isolated and unmotivated.
In a nutshell, I try to run my seminar just as I would on campus. Students do have some individual work to do before class - reading - but they tend to do it because they also have a team assignment that requires they do it. The peer commitment seems to make it all work in that they come to class prepared to debate, discuss and examine concepts and principles embedded in the readings and discussed within their teams, in either synch or asynch mode.
I've added some references below for your perusal.

Dr. Michael Power
Professor & Programs Director - Educational Technology
Faculty of Education - Université Laval
Founder of
www.bold-research.org Research Network
Director of Research
Deputy Director (Education)
Member of the Board of Directors www.cirta.org
Office 1174
2320 rue des Bibliothèques
Université Laval
Quebec City (Québec) G1V 0A6
Phone : (418) 656-2131 #5467
Fax:  (418) 656-2905
[log in to unmask]
Website (FR/ENG) : http://www.fse.ulaval.ca/Michael.Power
Major article (ENG):
New article (ENG): http://www.jofde.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/649
2008 book (FR):
2009 book (ENG):
http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120161 (09/09)
2010 talk (ENG):
2010 talk (ENG) http://edtechtalk.com/node/4722
Professional site:
www.facebook.com (Thomas Michael Power)
Instant messaging:
www.twitter.com (drmichaelpower)

De : Dee Fink [[log in to unmask]]
Date d'envoi : 21 juin 2010 21:09
À : [log in to unmask]
Cc : Thomas Michael Power
Objet : Designing Better Learning Experiences: Updates on Website + Question

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to alert you that the page on "Design Forms & Tips" (under "Resource Downloads") has been re-organized and several new items have been added.


Does anyone have a "success story" they would like to share on the listserv?   Posting this would allow people to ask questions about how it works, and what problems they had to overcome.

Michael Powers emailed me a month or two ago, about an online course which he designed to include both synchronous and asynchronous activities that seemed to be quite valuable. 

      Michael:  Would you mind sharing that with people on the listserv?

We would love to also hear "success stories" from others as well!

Thanks,    Dee

L. Dee Fink          
234 Foreman Ave.
Norman, OK  73069
Phone/FAX:  405-364-6464
Email:  [log in to unmask]
Website:  www.finkconsulting.info

**National Project Director:  Teaching & Curriculum Improvement (TCI) Project
**Senior Associate, Dee Fink & Associates Consulting Services
**Author of: Creating Significant Learning Experiences
**Former President of the POD Network in Higher Education (2004-2005)