By the time you are standing in front of a classroom of students, ready to teach for the first time, you have probably spent at least 20 years on the other side of the lectern. You have sat through years of wonderful, inspired teaching, and probably an equal amount of less than exhilarating lectures. You have taken hundreds of tests, submitted literally tons of homework and skipped months of classes. You stand there with the benefit of an ‘Apprenticeship of Observation’ having become an expert in teaching through exposure.
Did you feel as prepared the first time you taught an online class?
So here’s the scenario…you’re teaching a course that has a dropbox folder assignment for each week of the semester. You last taught the course the previous year. The course structure has remained the same, and the dropbox portion is identical. The catch is that you had “end dates” for all the dropbox folders, and they all need to be updated to this year.
Bummer. Continue reading
One of the most frequent comments I hear about teaching online is how hard it is to know how it’s going. Without those physical cues of light-bulb smiles, slouching students or confused faces, it can feel that you’re teaching into a vacuum for 14 weeks. And whatever your opinion of online CCQs, the results arrive too late to impact the students in front of you now. If you’ve shared this frustration, consider offering your students an informal mid-semester survey. Continue reading
As I am sitting here trying to write this blog, I am trying to think how I can help a professor who has many hours of teaching students and framing their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. How can I help them understand what it might be like to be a Veteran in the classroom?
As a faculty member and an advisor I often get students asking me about whether or not they could be successful in online courses. The answer is usually, “yes,” with several qualifiers such as, “as long as you can effectively manage your time,” or “as long as you can stay motivated to do your best throughout the course.” These are often my thoughts, rather than solid research-based answers. Continue reading
In November 2012, Maryellen Weimer of The Teaching Professor at Faculty Focus, discussed Writing Across the Curriculum, and in particular, the benefits of informal writing. In addition to improving writing skills, integrating writing assignments into your curriculum also promotes learning – “it clarifies ideas, generates reasons, and crystallizes arguments”. Continue reading
Cheryl Hayek of Faculty Focus tackled a frequently asked online teaching question. Faculty members, new and experienced alike, fret over how often they should post in the discussion forums of online classes. Too little (or not at all) and students feel abandoned, and crave instructor presence. Too much and the discussion is likely to be stale, stilted and uninspired. Continue reading