Considering Teaching Online?
Questions To Consider
According to UMaryland Online, there are several key questions to ask yourself as you decide whether (and how) to teach online:
- Will I miss having face-to-face interaction with my students?
- Do I have the computer skills necessary to teach an online course?
- Am I willing to learn new teaching strategies?
- Do I have excellent time management skills?
- Do I have a quiet place where there is a computer to work on my class work?
- Am I a good group facilitator?
- Am I willing to give prompt feedback to students who are in a 24/7 class?
- Am I willing to invest the extra time that it takes to prepare and teach an online course?
To explore their discussion, see Are You a Good Candidate for Online Teaching?
What online students want YOU to know!
What online students want you to know (from student surveys and focus groups conducted by the Office of Online Education). This information mirrors current research in best practices with online learning.
- Give clear directions for the discussions. Good prompts lead the discussion to achieving the learning objectives.
- Be part of the discussion. Respond to post, but then push the discussion to the next level.
- Consider the trade off in grading the ideas of the discussion versus the grammar and syntax.
Feedback, feedback, feedback
- Provide quality feedback for all work.
- Feedback should be substantive and clear.
- Feedback should be regular and reasonably quick – or at least let us know when to expect it.
- Audio quality matters. It is painful to listen to/watch a podcast or video that isn’t clear.
- It is very important to divide up the content. Let us watch for a while then ask us to do something.
Community Service Type Assignments
- Know your students and their outside lives when planning assignments.
- Assignments that require significant outside non-academic work- such as community service – are almost impossible for working adults.
- Logistically, group projects are very difficult with an online course.