Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Registration Woes

Now that I've been at home for most of the last week, coughing up a lung or two, I've had some time to devote to my online courses. I'm teaching a graduate course this semester, with a fairly small enrollment. The course was originally designed for a combination of intensive weekends (Friday evenings/Saturday all day) and online discussion, but I switched it to online because of the low enrollment, after which point the enrollment tripled. Interesting dynamic there. I'm having to put it together on the fly, which means I'm just about two weeks ahead of the class.

One of the techniques I'm using for this course is mini-lectures (voice over on powerpoint) that I record using Camtasia. The process of designing those has been interesting. Usually, I choose a topic that is related to the material in the assigned texts, or one that is only given a small amount of play in those chapters, and provide information on those topics. Only about 15-20 minutes per mini-lecture. I create a powerpoint, write notes underneath, and then record the lecture. Easy.

So now I've had a bit more time -- because of the coughing -- to work on my summer online course, which is on Literature for Young Adults. I teach this course regularly during the school year; this will be my first time teaching it online and my first time teaching it in the summer. It's a lot of work getting the course online, but I think I'll be getting some extra money for the course development (!).

So my beef is that -- because this course is also offered as a graduate course for teachers in the state who are in our literacy endorsement program -- registration is done through our off-campus enrichment program. That's fine, I have no problem with them doing the registration. But. The course doesn't show up in our registration system until the around-the-state folks (who register as graduate students) can register -- not until the end of next month. This makes sense, I guess, because we don't want the class to fill up with undergraduate students before the graduate students get a chance to register.

But the bottom line is that undergraduates are calling me and emailing me, all panicked because the course doesn't show up! And they can't enroll! Is it full? Would I please let them add the class? Because they are graduating in May and this is their only chance for an upper-division course, and if they can't take it the world will end!


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