Course reflections: A new day, a new module, a new approach

I have just started the new topic, Virgil’s Aeneid with my L3 Classical Studies class.  Virgil is a difficult text and I have traditionally used comprehension questions mixed in with more fun collaborative stuff to guide student learning.  I have never been happy with this approach though, especially online where students tend to work in isolation.  I did find that many of my students last year shared their work through google docs, but it still didn’t quite reach my expectation of rich learning.  The reality is I would love to do some roleplaying and movie making, but this is difficult to achieve at a distance where you have less control over the environment in which the students work.  We also only have seven weeks left in the course so we have to be quite focused.

After some research on collaborative learning online and reading a very interesting article on virtual teams I have set out the approach to the module and I am happy with it.  Students have been split into study groups (which I chose, but more on that later) and will be working together to develop their understanding of the text.  I am looking forward to seeing what happens.  I know many students are resistant to this sort of group work, but I have put a lot of time into setting up the expectations and environment for this to happen.  You can have a look at how the groups will work here, but I have created far more of a structure for the collaboration than I usually do.

Now lets see what the students do…



  1. Looks good Darren. I have seen group roles divided up like this in f2f classes, it will be interesting to see how it goes virtually.

    • It is looking good so far. Just one group where there has been no discussion so far. If it works it will be a great way of making the whole experience less isolating. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment John.

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