Monday, September 7, 2009

Online learning 4: How to teach online

1. Know your students: too busy to attend regular classes, struggling to combine job and family obligations with their studies. From andragogical perspectives, (1) for adult students to learn optimally they need to feel that what they study has relevance to their lives and/or their work; (2) that they know their own learning style and are given opportunities to work with the materials so it fits their way of learning

2. How to become an online professor?
  • Create a professional website
  • Effective communication - concise, responsive
  • Right attitude - easy to work with, open-minded, flexible
  • Well begun is half done
  • Always backup your materials
3. Content
  • content is less important than a well-structured classroom and peer interaction
  • developed by content experts + instructional designers
  • Online forum
  • Keep a log of broken links, inconsistencies, and things to adjust and after thoughts/suggestions
4. Setting up the online classroom
  • one section for each week/unit
  • specific forum sections (for self intro, peer discussion, and current events and questions for the professor) shall be set up completely before the course starts
  • discussion starters & intro messages for each forum section. (plus share info about yourself - encourage them to create a friendly meeting place)
5. Facilitation
  • A shift from objectivist paradigm to constructivist paradigm
  • A shift of power away form the professor to the students
  • Clear expectations & timely feedback
  • too many postings by the professor tends to hamper student interaction
  • create a positive, open, and supportive learning environment
6. Feedback & grading
  • Provide a list of assignments and deadlines (including examples, starting time, etc.)
  • Organize your email and folders
  • Feedback (a general part that discusses aspects of the assignment that pertain to most of the students and what the grading criteria are, and a student-specific part to discuss the strengths of the assignment and what can be improved)
  • Check for plagarism (Google search)
  • Self evaluation
  • Late policy
  • The main traits the students appreciate in a professor is friendliness, warmth, support, and clear expectations!

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