Asynchronous online discussion plays a key role in humanizing online courses. Asking provocative questions is an important part of getting students to participate in discussions, but the right questions alone are not always enough to create a truly connected class.
To many students and would-be students who have yet to experience them, online colleges are sometimes viewed with a combination of suspicion and distrust—and occasional newspaper headlines talking about some CEO who, it was learned, received his or her advanced degree at an online “paper mill” do not help these impressions. And many in traditional academic institutions—including those who offer online courses—continue to quickly turn their noses up at online colleges, believing that any for-profit online college could not possibly offer the same quality education that they can.
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