A Roadmap to Online Teaching Best Practices

Setting Expectations for Online Instructor Performance

When it comes to instruction, just “winging it” isn’t any more acceptable in an online classroom than it is in a traditional one. Yet, in the absence of any guidelines or best practices, that’s precisely what many instructors do.


As more and more educators enter online teaching, they find themselves having to rethink classroom dynamics. Things as basic as accessing students, responding to questions, and determining how much time to spend teaching all have to be re-examined.

If instructors reach their own conclusions about these issues, you’ll have a program that’s inconsistent at best, unmanageable at worst. It’s far better if you establish clear guidelines and expectations that every instructor can follow. One of the most respected voices in distance education will show you how to do so, during a 90 minute online video seminar.

In Setting Expectations for Online Instructor Performance, Lawrence C. Ragan, PhD., director of Penn State’s acclaimed World Campus program, shares 12 key areas in which you should be establishing concrete, measurable guidelines for instructors. They include:

  • the frequency with which instructors access courses
  • the response time to student questions
  • the instructor’s presence in the online classroom
  • the amount of time spent actually teaching

Here’s a brief clip from the seminar:



During the presentation, Dr. Ragan also provides metrics to use in assessing teacher performance, a checklist of critical online teaching competencies, and other resources. You’ll come away with a clear roadmap for creating your own standards based on the unique needs of your institution and your program.

When you order the recording of this seminar on CD, you’ll also receive a PDF of the seminar transcript, all for the same price as attending the seminar live.

An optional Campus Access License is available for an additional $200. It allows the purchasing institution to upload the CD of the seminar onto the institution’s password-protected internal web site for unlimited access by members of the campus community.

Who will benefit?

  • Lead Faculty
  • Instructional Designers
  • Faculty Developers
  • Directors of Distance Education
  • Deans
  • Academic Department Chairs
  • Institutional Evaluators/Researchers

See how carefully developed guidelines can strengthen your instructors’ classroom performance, increase student satisfaction, and enhance your program’s reputation.

New for 2011! A Discussion Guide for Facilitators.
Participating in a Magna Online Seminar as a team can help leverage unique insights, foster collaboration, and build momentum for change. Each seminar now includes a Discussion Guide for Facilitators which provides step-by-step instructions for generating productive discussions and thoughtful reflection. You’ll also get guidelines for continuing the conversation after the event, implementing the strategies discussed, and creating a feedback loop for sharing best practices and challenges.

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