Ready to Teach Online?
online as easy as posting your course notes on the Web?
quite. There will be many issues to consider. For instance, do you need
to change your teaching style and strategies in order to be successful
teaching online or web-enhancing your classes, and how do you create
online content and manage your virtual classroom environment?
an online course for you?
comprehensive self-assessment questionnaire from Foothill College will
help students figure out whether they have the study skills and
technical skils to be a sucessful online student:
Start your self-assessment by
looking over this list of instructor characteristics that some feel are
necessary to be successful teaching online:
for the subject
- Flexibility in teaching methods and
- Experienced in teaching
- Effective communication skills
- Comfortable with technology
- Highly responsive to students, provides
- Good time management skills
your readiness to teach an online course
consider your preparation to deal with online teaching strategies:
of all, you should be comfortable with your basic knowledge of the
online teaching environment and how you can facilitate high quality
educational experiences for your students even though you do not see
- You should understand how to
communities, how to facilitate communication and collaboration, how to
structure your course to help students stay on task and committed to
achieving the objectives of the course, and how to interact with them
through this new medium.
Use this checklist
to develop strategies for how you plan to:
Restructure your current course
so that it will be successful in an online learning environment.
can mean anything from some simple modifications to the content and
materials, to adjusting assignments and projects, or a complete
reworking of how you present information and how your students interact
with the course content and with you.
Be a real person to your
and independent study are not the same thing and students still want
and need regular contact and input from the instructor. Some students
will feel lost in this mostly self-directed environment and they need
to know you are there to help them. Other students, not
regular lecture to prompt them, fall behind on assignments at times.
Short, friendly e-mail notes tend to promote student success. Along
with having an office hour for real-time visits and phone calls you
should also check your e-mail messages daily or as often as possible
and communicate in a friendly manner. You also need to have a presence
on the discussion boards.
Manage individual student
progress according to different preferences and varied schedules.
teach successfully online, you need to be comfortable with some
additional flexibility in how students may progress through the course
materials. The very essence of hypertext means that students can choose
which links to access according to their own needs and interests.
Communication with students is mainly asynchronous which means students
will be reading messages and discussing things at different times. It
is up to each instructor whether students are allowed to pace
themselves or whether everyone needs to stay on a similar schedule, at
least for some parts of the class.
Adapted from Online Teaching Institute at American
River College, developed by Dr. Marsha Leeman-Conley
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