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.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
best practices in online teaching
Larry Ragan, director of faculty development for Penn State World Campus, may have given a new spin to the old expression “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Except, unlike the philosophical musing that’s become immortalized as one of those motivational posters, Ragan’s focus is on improving online learning.
Online instructors receive poor evaluations for any number of reasons, including lack of experience, inadequate training, and poor communication skills. Other times, the poor reviews are more reflective of the course design than the instructor who’s teaching the course. That distinction is unimportant to the students.
It’s not easy to get unanimous agreement on anything these days, but on this most educators can agree:
- An instructor’s personality impacts student learning;
- More is learned in a class than just course content; and
- It can be difficult to show your personality in an online course.
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.