Incorporate these tips to create a successful, high quality online course environment for you and your students! (Shared with the permission of CLA Fillipelli Institute for e-Learning and Outreach)
Welcome students before the course begins by email or course announcement. Make the students aware that the course is ready and that you are looking forward to working with them!
Tech Tip: Send the email through ANGEL to the entire class, and be sure to check the box to forward to the recipient’s internet email.
Be Present. Use email, announcements, chat, IM, Skype, Twitter or other communication tools to provide students with feedback and support. Timely instructor feedback is essential for the online learner to manage their learning experience.
Provide encouragement and support, especially in the beginning of a course. Inform the students that you are available for questions, comments and concerns. Be patient if students are posting questions in the wrong area or asking questions you have already answered.
Encourage students to actively participate in online discussions. Inform students of your expectations and provide them with a discussion rubric for grading.
Establish and abide by standard response times for all interactions. Let students know how you will communicate (email, announcements, etc.), how quickly they can expect a response, and how soon you will have assignments graded. Inform students if you will deviate from your normal patterns because of travel, conferences, or other commitments.
Track student’s progress in course activities. Especially in the beginning of the course, contact students who have not logged in to see if they are experiencing problems.
Tech Tip: Use the WhoDunIt Report (see ANGEL Reports tab) to view login activity, determine what assignments students have completed, monitor pass/fail activity, and determine if students have achieved a certain score on a gradebook assignment.
Provide weekly updates to keep the students on track. Send a weekly update email at the beginning of every week to help students to maintain their focus throughout the course and keep them abreast of upcoming course events.
Use available technologies to make life easier. Talk with your instructional designer and other instructors to find out the easiest way to grade discussion forums, dropbox assignments and other student work.
Tech Tip: Keep a file of frequently used phrases that you can easily copy and paste when grading assignments.
Know where to get help! Remember we are here to assist you, if you are having difficulty with an aspect of your course please contact your instructional designer for assistance.
Don’t be afraid to teach. Don’t assume that the class will “teach itself” since the course is already designed. Don’t just react to student questions, but initiate interaction with them. Comment on current events in course announcements. Schedule live chat sessions to help students work through challenging assignments. Share your expertise or examples to augment the existing course content.