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Primed for Learning: Maximizing Teachable Moments When Students are Ready and Willing to Learn

Teachable moments, those special times when students are most ready and willing to learn, are traditionally considered unplanned opportunities. But should teachable moments be treated like unexpected gifts or can they actually be set in motion with a little advanced anticipation and planning by the instructor?


Understanding the Instructor’s Role in Facilitating Online Discussions

In my classroom-based courses I have always valued discussion as a powerful learning tool that provides students with opportunities to explain their reasoning and understanding, learn different perspectives and points of view, and re-think and possibly revise their own conceptions based on careful reflection of potentially disparate viewpoints. As I prepared to teach my first online course five years ago, it was only natural that discussion would be a part of it.


Reaching Online Students with Learning Disabilities

Students with disabilities are drawn to online courses for many of the same reasons as everyone else, but it’s often the anonymity that makes learning online particularly attractive to someone who’s spent his or her life trying to mask a disability. For online instructors, this can present new issues. After all, it’s hard enough distinguishing


Using Rubrics to Improve Online Teaching, Learning, and Retention

I have always enjoyed teaching in the classroom environment. There is something special about watching a student’s eyes light up as a new concept changes perceptions. When I first taught in the online environment, I wondered how I would communicate with students without seeing them in person. Would they get my assignments? Would they understand the requirements? Could they produce the level of work I expected? Could we overcome the potential miscommunications of the written word?


10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education

Despite the many benefits, teaching online also comes with its share of challenges. This special report will help you establish online instructor best practices and performance expectations for creating a successful teaching and learning experience.


Four Tips to Help Distance Educators Manage Time Spent Online

Has email overtaken your life? Teresa Marie Kelly offers hope. As a distance education faculty member at Kaplan University, Kelly knows first hand how easy it is to fall into the email trap and offers the following four tips for to help online faculty create a better work-life balance. [...]


Student Collaboration in the Online Classroom

One of the best teaching tools in a traditional classroom is the team project. When students work together, they learn a great deal – not just about what they’re studying, but about how to work with others toward common goals, with shared responsibilities, for shared reward. Traditional classrooms have an innate advantage in bringing students together … the students are sitting there right in front of them. A collaborative project can begin by simply seating the team at the same table.


How to Assist Faculty with an Online Course Template

How do you get the best out of your online faculty? Don’t make them re-invent the wheel each time they create an online course. Let them do what they’re best at. Free them from administrative details. Do their work for them. Give them a course template.


Six Recommendations for the Physicality of Distance Learning Classrooms

In the past, I have used the spatiotemporal aspects of my office for online teaching. My workstation, which has undergone multiple ergonomic reinventions over the years, fits my body, habits, and routines. Although teaching elsewhere is an option, my workstation helps me prevent (or slow down) what I call “professor posture,” that is, head forward and shoulders rounded. And in my office I can disappear into time, emerging hours later with completed products. For faculty who wish to use their offices as online classrooms, I provide the following recommendations:…


The 10 Key Rules for Managing Time in Online Teaching

In my several years of teaching online I have developed a variety of time-management tools that have helped me to stay on top of my classes while making my efforts smoother and easier; hundreds of colleagues I’ve discussed this with over the years also have their favorite ways of managing time.


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