Cheap Online Classes For Teachers – Whether you’ve taught a lot online or a little, chances are you haven’t enjoyed it as much as teaching in person. Maybe you haven’t felt that lather after a particularly invigorating face-to-face class. Indeed, according to a 2017 Educause survey, only 9 percent of academics prefer to teach in an “entirely online environment.” That means 91 percent of us don’t. And I suspect a good majority of that 91 percent would prefer to teach anywhere but online.
Clearly, many academics do not see the value of online courses or the experience of becoming a better online teacher. Almost none of us were going to be great online teachers when we decided to go to graduate school. We’ve spent years in university classrooms, but we don’t have the same depth and experience in an online classroom as students or teachers. Most of us don’t know how to teach online or how to get better at it, and we may not be motivated to learn. Even more likely, we don’t feel like we have time to study.
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For all these reasons, you may not feel fully invested in your online teaching practice. However, it can be just as rewarding as teaching in a brick-and-mortar classroom, if in different ways. Good teaching is good teaching.
Most of us don’t know how to teach online or how to get better at it, and we may not be motivated to learn.
Which brings me to the purpose of this guide. What you’ll find here are tips on how to make your online pedagogy as effective and satisfying as the in-person version, including:
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Online classes do not end. the number of registrations is increasing every year. Furthermore, online education increases access to students who would otherwise be unable to attend college due to work and family commitments. Those people are just as much our students as those who end up on campus, and they too deserve the best teaching we can offer.
Learning management system. Otherwise known as LMS. Online classes typically take place through your institution’s chosen learning management system—a platform that includes communication, content delivery, and assessment tools to facilitate the teaching and learning process. LMS features can vary from university to university, but typically you’ll find the following common elements and functions:
Module: The most common unit of organization for an online class is a module (it has different naming conventions). If the term is new to you, think of it as the equivalent of your individual class unit. Teachers use modules to organize class material into topics. They are arranged sequentially and contain all course materials and learning activities for a given topic or unit.
Asynchronous. Most online courses are asynchronous, meaning that students are not taking the class all together at the same time, and class activities are not happening in real time. Instead, students can complete assignments when their schedule allows. Flexibility is one of the main benefits offered by online education and the main reason why many students choose to take online classes.
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The jargon and setting is similar to many online courses, but there are some differences. For example, some online classes include a synchronous element or two. Some have a small student population of 30 or less, while others have a large number of students, which can be difficult to teach effectively (a difference that also occurs with face-to-face courses). Some online courses are completely in-house, unique to the individual instructor, while others are highly organized across departments or heavily based on the publisher’s content and activities.
You will also encounter differences between the circumstances of online students. Some are technologically well-equipped, with a good computer and fast, reliable Internet access. Others do their entire coursework in a university computer lab. Still others take their laptops to public places with good Wi-Fi (malls, restaurants, libraries) because they don’t have internet at home.
Even accounting for such differences in class formats and student circumstances, the fact remains that the flexibility of online education makes it a more affordable option than traditional courses for more than 6.3 million students and counting. There are many things you can do to be a better online teacher for these students. Continue reading.
The training suggestions in this guide are not revolutionary. When you read them, they will probably seem like common sense. But that’s just the point.
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Professors often fail to make the connection between what we do in the physical classroom and what we do online. This guide aims to make that connection clear. to help you think about what you do well in person so you can do those things in your online classes as well. If you already use some of these practices, the goal here is to help you think more comprehensively about what else you can do to be an excellent online teacher. With that goal in mind, let’s get down to business.
Basically, good teaching requires you to be in the classroom with your students. When you teach in person, you don’t leave students to their own devices. You are with them, involved in any teaching activity, explaining, guiding, asking, illustrating, answering questions. Are you early for class? After that, you stay for a few minutes to talk one-on-one with the student who needs extra support. You are present and actively engaged. Are you there for your students?
Most of you haven’t translated that into online practice. After all, when you teach in person, you have a set schedule of when you are in class. That schedule can also determine the weekly blocks of time during which you prepare for the class and the work of the students in the class. But no such defined framework exists for an online class. And without careful planning, you can go days without engaging in teacher activities with your online students.
Instead, create a schedule for meaningful and active engagement in your online classes. For example, how many hours per week do you spend teaching a one-on-one, 15-week course? Maybe it’s 10 hours a week on average, combining the time you spend in the actual classroom and the time you spend on preparation and assessment (and of course even longer after the main assignments and tests).
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Schedule the same amount of time each week to be visibly present and engaged in your online semester class. And I mean visible, meaningful engagement. Here are some ways to do it.
When you’re regularly present and engaged in the online classroom, your students are more likely to be, too.
Most professors enjoy teaching in person because of the opportunity to interact with students, share our passion for the subject, and understand the dawn on their faces. Some of us, of course, enjoy the performance aspect. We feed off the energy of the room. We use it to promote our own energy communication. Most of us have a unique teaching personality that is different from the one we engage in in a hallway chat or a department meeting. We use humor. We vary our shipping for best results. We pause. We raise our voice. We gesture for emphasis.
In an online classroom, your teaching style can get lost in translation. Although this is beginning to change, it is still the case that the primary medium of communication in an online course is the written word. A wall of text can be dry and damaging to students. Where is the voice intonation? Where are the facial expressions? How do you pace up and down the front of the room to help get your point across?
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The solution, by the way, is to not put a video on while giving a standard lecture in the classroom. Physical energy is also lost in that environment. Instead, capture your personality and your passion in ways that are different from what you might do in person, but authentic.
Written content is an inevitable part of any online course, but strive to use a unique voice in your writing. Mini-lectures, instructions for assignments, answers to questions, weekly announcements. you can write them in a way that represents your true self;
If possible, recording yourself is another great way to bring your whole self to class. Whether audio or video, capture your expertise, your empathy, your character as a teacher in a way that will have far more impact than in writing (again, I don’t mean your lecture videos). These recordings don’t have to be professionally produced, and you don’t have to have a video in every module. Start small instead. For example, record a quick introduction and greeting to include in the Get Started Here module
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