The big moment is almost upon me: My online class starts tomorrow! Last week I received an introductory email from the instructor. She reviewed her background, told me what to expect, and attached a course calendar and a syllabus. I tried to breathe deeply as I read them, alternating between anticipation and intimidation.
Why would I—a professional who has created a (bricks-and-mortar) class and taught it for seven years—feel like a first grader? Well, it has to do with technology. This class is ONLINE, a place where, if it can go wrong for me, it will—every time.
Katie (the instructor) promised an email would be coming with login information so I could check things out in advance. Need I mention that I never received my email? By last Friday I was in a stew. I wrote Katie and Sean, the coordinator, help desk, and support system to calmly ask about my email. No response. Of course, the weekend intervened, and I figured that was the reason.
Today. I called Sean (He said, “Call any time’). He was baffled. He had sent the email, received my request, and sent it again. I searched every conceivable folder; it was nowhere to be found. He told me my login user name and password and even logged in for me on his end. (Who has problems like that?) I finally got into the site, but that didn’t solve the lost email problem. Sean, the master magician, figured out a way to email me from a different address. It worked; we agreed to communicate that way.
So, some time today I will do what I had planned to do last week: check out the course about twelve minutes before it begins.
I’m wondering how people do this if they have jobs or regular lives. We are supposed to log in to the class four or five times a week and complete assignments on time. Even if everything goes seamlessly and I give up sleeping and exercise, that sounds daunting (client obligations aside). But if Murphy makes an appearance … I can’t even think about that!