Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

advice to online instructors

Convey Your Online Teaching Persona

In order to effectively establish and maintain an active learning community, the instructor must establish his or her teaching persona and maintain it throughout the course, says Bill Phillips, an instructional designer at the University of Central Florida. Unlike in a face-to-face classroom, one’s persona in the online classroom needs to be deliberately incorporated into course design.

Read More »

Be Efficient, Not Busy: Time Management Strategies for Online Teaching

Online teaching redefines the faculty member’s schedule. The feeling of being a 24/7 professor can lead to frustration. Managing one’s time as an online teacher can be a challenge. As the popularity of online education continues to grow, teaching faculty need to develop effective time management behaviors to be efficient and not just busy. Here are ten strategies I like to use:

Read More »

Tips for Increasing Interactivity in an Online Course

In a follow-up to the online seminar “Creatively Engaging Online Students: Models and Activities,” Curt Bonk, professor of instructional systems technology at Indiana University, offered the following response from a participant who asked, “What is your favorite method to increase interactivity in an online class?”

Read More »

How to Create Effective Activities for Online Teaching

We’ve all used them, first as students and now as online instructors: activities in a class meant to highlight, spotlight, underline, enhance, or explain some aspect of the subject we are teaching. Too often, not much thought or effort is given to these activities, resulting in outdated and unsuccessful activities. With the right approaches and a bit of knowledge, online instructors can create activities that are dynamic, effective, and interesting.

Read More »

Instructor’s Personality: An Essential Online Course Component

An instructor’s “digital” personality can influence student achievement, retention or completion, and satisfaction with courses, says Todd Conaway, an instructional designer at Yavapai College in Arizona. This is why he encourages instructors to infuse their personalities into their online courses. A growing number of tools and technologies can help.

Read More »

Online Teaching Tips for Leveraging Students' Insights and Experiences

Teaching any online class is time-consuming and can be a juggling act. The instructor must keep students engaged and motivated, adhere to a variety of deadlines, quickly answer all student emails and postings, react to in-class “emergencies,” stay on top of all school policies, and teach the subject in an easy-to-understand manner—while remaining a patient, upbeat, and constant presence through it all. This is no easy task, and while we each have developed approaches to help us, there is one often underused “tool” that online instructors can employ: the students in one’s course.

Read More »

Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Harassment: Navigating the Murky Legal Waters of Online Teaching

If you teach online, here’s a simple quiz for you:

  • Are you familiar with your college’s intellectual property policy?
  • Do you know if you own the class material you have created?
  • Do you have permission to use all copyrighted materials you use regularly?
  • Do you know how to prevent defamation and harassment issues online?
  • Do you have a disability expert on campus that regularly assists in the development of online materials so that you do not violate disability guidelines?
Read More »

Three Tips for Handling Disruptive Online Students

Disruptive students, in any teaching and learning environment, are a challenge to manage, but they can be particularly so online. And it may take longer for an instructor to realize that a student is actually being disruptive online, since online communications can be ambiguous and one always wants to give students the benefit of the doubt.

Read More »

Online Teaching Challenge: Creating an Emotional Connection to Learning, part 1

Learning research indicates that people learn better in the presence of some emotional connection—to the content or to other people. Creating this emotional connection is particularly challenging in the online classroom, where most communication is asynchronous and lacks many of the emotional cues of the face-to-face environment. Nevertheless, it is possible to do, with a learner-centered approach to teaching and a mastery of the technology that supports it, says Rick Van Sant, associate professor of education at Ferris State University.

Read More »