When Your Online Course Is Put Up for Adoption

May 19, 2015 / Phil Lesch

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 19th, 2015

Jennifer V. Ebbeler always knew that somebody else would end up teaching her online Roman-history course. But that didn’t make giving it up any easier.

Ms. Ebbeler spent nearly two years building an online version of “Introduction to Ancient Rome” with a team of designers at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is an associate professor of classics. Most of the heavy lifting came during the last academic year, when one of her colleagues taught the course to hundreds of undergraduates while she coordinated behind the scenes.

The process was challenging and occasionally chaotic, she says, but her team learned a lot about how to make the online course work. Which is why she was frustrated when she learned that the instructor whom she had recommended to lead it in the future — Steve Lundy, an adjunct faculty member who had taught the first two semesters of the course — had been passed over for the job.

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