Bass Online Apprentice Develops Diverse Skill Set to Teach Online

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that there are a lot of steps in the process of launching an online course, and there are a lot of parties involved in course design.”

Meghan O’Neil, a PhD student in English recently completed a Bass Online Apprenticeship with the Center for Instructional Technology. O’Neil brought a unique set of educational experiences to her apprenticeship. She serves as co-chair of the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council and participates in the Graduate School’s Emerging Leaders Institute. O’Neil has worked with Archives Alive: The NC JukeBox Project and the Bass Connections Project Team: Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-Building through Film.

Reflections on the Apprenticeship Experience

Meghan O’Neil

“I applied for the Online Apprentice fellowship because I’m interested in new and innovative pedagogical strategies. I wanted to learn how technology can complement and creatively inform teaching and scholarship. I’m very interested in learning how Duke’s online teaching practices engage with new teaching models like the flipped and hybrid classroom, and how online technologies and new media applications allow diverse sets of students to connect and learn in new ways.”

Building a Diverse Online Skill Set

“I’m not pursuing the typical assistant professor position after graduation. Instead I’m interested in “alt-ac” careers, which will require a more diverse skill set that might include many of the skills and experiences I was looking for in the Bass Online Apprentice Fellowship Program. These include writing skills; pedagogical theory; coding and online course development skills with Coursera.”

Pedagogical Redesign

“I worked with William Williamson to redesign a MOOC developed by David H. Schanzer, J.D., Associate Professor of the Practice, Sanford School of Public Policy.  I redesigned the online materials so this MOOC can be offered as an on-demand rather than a session-based Coursera course. Using the information from the original version of the course, I’ve been able to adapt and reformat the course documents, assignments, peer assessments, and discussion forums to fit the new on-demand model. This has required that I learn how to build out a course on Coursera’s platform as well as consider the pedagogical and course design differences between session-based courses and on-demand MOOCs.”

Course Design is a Dynamic Process

“One of the most interesting things to discover was the way an online course remains dynamic even after its launch date. There is a constant process of monitoring and fixing that continues to occur, and creative pedagogical strategies and best practices are often discovered as a course is on the move rather than static.”

Learn more about the Bass Online Apprenticeship with CIT