Re: Further Greek Studies

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sat Dec 20 1997 - 11:55:52 EST

On Fri, 19 Dec 1997 14:55:43 -0500 Jonathan Robie <>
>At 02:23 PM 12/19/97 EST, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>>I am teaching an online first year Greek course using Machen's book.
>>are half way through the book now, the class having just taken its
>>mid-term and in a 3 week Christmas break. We started with 175 in
>>September, 10 of which were assistants. After 5 tests we are down to
>>who have taken all tests and are doing well. It has gone surprisingly
>>well. We have audio files for pronunciation, the students read and
>>each chapter on their own, ask questions as needed, do the problems at
>>the end of the chapter, etc.
>I would be interested in hearing a little bit about your experiences in
>teaching this online. You seem to find it helpful to keep people
>together, asking the same questions at the same time, and taking tests,
so in
>some ways this is similar to a traditional classroom setting. How is
>similar to a face-to-face classroom setting, and how is it different?
>You seem to be using IRC for classroom exercises. How is that working

We started out using the IRC, but dropped that due to a lack of interest.
 What I like about the class is the students can ask questions at any
time (except during a test) and there are plenty of other teachers to
help out, so no one needs to feel overwhelmed. The questioning started
out with a roar, but subsided to a very manageable scenario as the class
size dwindled. The tests are given every 3rd Thursday. I provide the
answer key a day or two later, they grade their own tests and send me the
results. They are tested on vocabulary, paradigms, translations and
parsing, and grammatical points.

We have the work pretty much distributed among the teachers, so that
helps tremendously. How is it different from the regular class
experience? Well, you don't have to maintain eye contact, or watch them
fall asleep, or get dressed up (or down), etc. Lots of benefits.
Drawbacks? Hmm, can't say that I am aware of any off the top of my head.
 Of course, you don't get to hear them read. That is probably the big
handicap. Maybe the only significant one. But, they have access to the
audio files and can hear the Greek pronounced. The whole course, of
course, is built upon the premise of self-motivation. The ones who have
stayed with it seem not only sharp and conscientious, but highly
motivated and very appreciative. Wow, any teacher would be thrilled with
such a group.

>>We are planning on hitting the Greek text for translation purposes in
>>January. Feel free to join us. See my signature file below for
>>information. You also should check Jonathan's site. We have a money
>>back guarantee, though. If you are not totally satisfied, your money
>>will be happily returned. The course is free.
>So it takes basically 3 months to work through Machen? Do you have
>plans to repeat the course?

No, we are only half way through Machen. Half way in 16 weeks, going one
chapter a week. Do I have plans to repeat the course? No, but I do have
plans to continue with second year, Lord willing.

Any ideas? Have you gotten feedback on your approach?

Paul Dixon

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