Teacher as Lead Student Rather than talking about sending our students off to do online courses we know nothing about (either their content or their quality) as a substitute for courses we DO teach, why not expand our own reach, have some fun, and do well by our students by taking online courses WITH them?

A few of us, for example, are talking about a Data Scientist major/minor/grad program. We have some pieces of this with current TTT staff, but a number of critical parts are missing. To field the program we'd need adjuncts or a full time hire. But we could do proof of concept (one aspect of which is to explore demand and fit with the rest of our programs) by using online courses as the supplement but with a twist. The twist is that faculty members would take the course as "lead student" and then play the role of tutor to the Mills students who are taking the course. It's interesting for the faculty member because she learns something new that she's been thinking about learning anyway. It's great for the students on several levels - she has a better online experience than she would otherwise, she gets to see her teacher learning, and she gets first rate tutoring. And for the college and faculty member, some learning gets delivered at a much lower effort level and cost level than would otherwise have been the case.


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