and strategies to help you become an effective online teacher include:
- Provide prompt
meaningful feedback to queries and assignments. However balance this
promptness by setting reasonable limits. Don't try to be available
twenty four hours a day, seven days a week (be fair to yourself).
- Design for
student to student interaction, you don't have to be in the middle
of every 'conversation' or online conference. Let your students provide
some expertise and expect that they will provide useful contributions.
(On the other hand you need to be present to ensure that everyone
is participating appropriately).
- Be clear and
upfront about your expectations, while still being flexible enough
to meet the needs of your students. Remember many adults are taking
distance courses so that they can juggle family, work and educational
pursuits. [return to top]
- Humanize your
content by focusing on your learners not on the mode of delivery.
While online courses rely on computers and various technologies for
many aspects of communication and delivery, the technology should
always support your learning goals and your students. [return
- Select realistic
(authentic) examples that will be relevant to your learners. You may
want to encourage your students (or groups of students) to suggest
relevant examples or cases for the rest of the class to consider.
Build upon student knowledge and experience. [return
- Encourage and
insist upon participation by all students. Using a threaded discussion
board is one means by which reluctant or shy students might feel comfortable
contributing to online discussions. Start early with some sort of
"ice-breaking"/getting used to the technology activity.
This might, for example, take the form of brief biographical information
posted to an introductory online conference or the design of individual
web pages for posting to the course site. Make sure every student
succeeds in this initial activity (you may need to email individual
students to provide encouragement and assistance). [return
- If you are new
to the technologies being employed, practice before you start your
courses. Know who to contact if you or your students have trouble
with the technologies. [return to top]
- To ensure that
course materials are accessible and to help troubleshoot as the course
progresses, consider surveying your students before your course starts
to get an idea of their technical ability and personal resources.
This type of survey may also help you troubleshoot problems as they
Questions to ask might include:
- type of
computer (power PC, pentium, 486, etc.)
system and versions (Mac, Windows)
and version (e.g. Netscape 4.7)
resolution (e.g. 800 x 600)
connection speed (e.g., 28.8, cable, etc.)
- email package
(e.g., Netscape, Outlook, etc.)
installation (if required for your course, e.g. RealPlayer, Adobe
[return to top]
Follow the links
below to see some practical examples of how you can use the Web to achieve
the key elements and tips and strategies mentioned in this website.
through our tips and strategies web pages on active learning, online
communication, and feedback try our self
assessment to see what you remember.