STEP 1: You will draw from at least six sources. Your paper will look at online education, both as it existed prior to our current situation and what it looks like now; and what your experience with online education has been at UCSB. I’ve compiled a list of potential sources (posted on GauchoSpace), but you’re also welcome to find your own sources. Your sources need not be peer reviewed, but they do need to be credible and approved by your teaching team (more on this later). You will use a minimum of three sources that address online education in general (pre-pandemic) and three sources that address online education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
STEP 2: Address these two questions:
Question one: How has our research university handled the rapid transition to all-online education? Address this question using the articles. Take a position on the issue and be sure to back it up with citations from your reading. You may want to consider some or all of the following questions:
● What does your research tell us are best practices for online education and how has UCSB implemented or adapted these best practices in our current context?
● What are potential benefits or drawbacks to online education and how have these benefits and drawbacks been amplified in our current situation? (Here you may want to particularly consider specific populations – underrepresented populations, disabled folks, those with different learning needs, international students, non-traditional students, etc.)
● Given the limitations of the current circumstances (short amount of time to convert in-person classes to online classes, additional stress caused by the pandemic/social distancing, etc.), how would you evaluate UCSB on its transition to online learning?
● Do you think this is a turning point for higher education? Now that all universities have shown that it is possible to offer most courses online, will more courses be offered online even after the end of the pandemic? Should more classes be offered online?
Question two: What has your experience been like taking online courses in Spring quarter? Using your sources, describe your experience to date. What have you learned that you might not have learned in a classroom? How do your experiences compare to those described in your sources? If you have any prior experience with online learning, how does this experience compare?
● Your paper should be 6-8 pages (NOT including the separate title page and references pages)
● Use APA format for citations, title page, and references. We have a link to the OWL resource if you need some help with this.
● DON’T just quote from the sources — put them to work. Here’s a bit more on this. https://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic1/writing-that-demonstrates-thinking-ability/
o And here’s an example. “Parker’s (2019) assertion that ice cream should be included in all class meetings has great appeal, but her study on this does not account for those with diets that don’t include dairy products. I think her work is on the right track in that all students like to receive acknowledgment and praise for their work. The ice cream is just one form of that. As a first-year student, I think I would respond well to any sort of unexpected reward. Even if I didn’t consume the ice cream, the gesture would be welcome.” Note how the student has taken the research and added their voice and opinion and then tied it to the questions we are answering in this paper.
● Your paper should have an introduction that introduces your sources and applies them to the current online learning environment, including your own experience. Identify the articles and preface how you will use them. Be sure to include a thesis statement laying out the main points of your argument.
● Your paper will have two main sections. One addressing UCSB’s transition online in general, and one focusing on your experience as an individual.
● Your paper should end with a conclusion that summarizes the main points of your argument. This is the last thing your teaching team will read, so be sure you leave them with a clear reminder of your thesis.
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