AY 2017-2018 Begins: Here Are Some Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses into the Making of an Online Course.

I’ve been radio-silent on this blog for over a month now, and that’s because I became an Auntie for the first time at the end of July (yay!!!), we got the page proofs for Melusine’s Footprint (yay!!!), and I was putting together my 15-week online course on “Medieval Afterlives: Modern Receptions of the Medieval,” an upper-division literature and culture course that looks at representative medieval texts, traces their afterlives into the popular cultural imagination, and then considers how they influence modern high fantasy by reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

I’ve written before about things to consider when designing an online course for the first time. The last pointer I gave in that post was to have some videos, so your students could get an idea of the person behind the course they are taking. Of course, even though we regularly perform in front of classes, most professors are not used to being filmed. It took me several takes to get usable footage to post to the course site; here are a few of the bloopers, for your amusement.

All in all, it took me forty hours to load the course onto our Canvas platform, and probably about 20 more hours to film and get the videos uploaded to Youtube to link to the course, and to complete the Powerpoints and reference lists. It was definitely a labor of love, and all I can do now that I’ve hit “Publish” on the course is to hope my students enjoy taking it as much as I (mostly) enjoyed putting it together. Fingers crossed!


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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