February 4, 2013

Tips for Online Instructors: Managing Files, Feedback, and Workload


Teaching online is a rewarding experience; but any instructor who makes the transition to online education, thinking it will be easier and less time-consuming than face-to-face classroom teaching, is in for a big surprise! Establishing a regular presence in the online classroom, grading assignments and discussions, and maintaining records and notes from term to term are all time consuming – but essential – tasks. Learning to take care of the details of online teaching more efficiently makes it possible to be more effective in your teaching. The following is an abbreviated version of guidance I provide to new instructors about ways to keep their course files organized, students engaged, and workload manageable.

August 25, 2011

Helping Online Students Connect with Business Leaders


Providing students with mentors can be an effective way for students to learn directly from experts in real-world situations. It’s a technique used widely in face-to-face courses, and it can work in online courses as well. Al Widman, professor of management and business administration at Berkeley College, has matched students with practitioner mentors in his online undergraduate non-profit management course.

August 10, 2011

Using Synchronous Tools to Build Community in the Asynchronous Online Classroom


Sometimes students in the online environment just need that extra nudge to feel connected in order to truly excel. As instructors, we can facilitate community-building in an asynchronous environment by utilizing synchronous tools, such as Wimba, Skype, Elluminate, and others available to us via our learning management system or outside of the LMS.

March 14, 2011

Fostering Student Interaction in the Online Classroom


When you first start teaching online, there’s the temptation to put on your Superman cape and try be ultra responsive and ever-present. So intent on ensuring that each and every student has a successful learning experience in your class, you answer student emails at any hour of the day or night, respond to every discussion board post, and design elaborate assignments that take advantage of all the latest technology tools available.

September 28, 2010

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.