Online learning is at an all-time high right now, and students are therefore expecting more from their online courses. While most of us know the importance of basic tips (like addressing students by name in the discussion board, or offering students substantive feedback on assignments), there are many more options for elevating online learning. Here are 6 online teaching tips that can lead to a more positive experience for both teacher and student.
1. Welcome students with a call or email. If you have time, call each student at the start of the term to say hello and find out what they hope to get out of the class. Most students will appreciate the time you take to do this. If time doesn’t allow, send a private email, addressing each student by name, and asking a direct question to start a brief dialogue.
2. Promote the rubric. Take care to make your rubric as clear and organized as possible. If you plan out assignments for the term in advance, it’s always helpful to provide this list to students as well–if things change, simply send out an updated version. Remind students of the grading rubric for the week’s assignments in announcements or emails to make sure they know what they will be graded on.
3. Communicate information using multiple channels. If you have important information to convey to students, use multiple channels of communication. For example, instead of simply posting information only in the announcements area or sending it only via email, include the information in both of these places. This will reduce the number of students saying they did not get the memo, and posting information in as many places as possible will result in more students getting the information they need to succeed.
4. Create a class forum. If your Learning Management System allows it, create a forum where students can go to find useful information and ask questions on a subject. For example, if you notice that most of your students struggle with APA, create a forum where they can easily locate resources on the subject and ask related questions.
5. Keep a running list of resources. Compile helpful resources to send to students who are struggling in certain areas. For example, if a student submits a paper that illustrates he or she does not know how to use commas, refer to your list of resources and include the appropriate resource in your feedback.
6. Utilize learner reflection questions. Get students thinking more critically about their writing assignments and their learning by asking questions such as:
In what ways, if any, did writing this paper change your views about the topic?
What did you find most challenging about writing about this topic?
What do you still want to know about this topic?
What did you enjoy most about writing this paper?
What did you discover about this topic that surprised you?
For more online learning tips, please click here.
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