Tips for Online Learning

Here in Sitka we do a lot of Online Teaching. The video below is from Michael Wesch, a faculty member at Kansas State University, who made the jump from face-to-face teaching to online teaching. He has ten tips for online teaching, which you can watch in the video below. Even those of you that have been online teaching for a while will enjoy his perspective.

To review, here are his 10 tips:

  1. Simplify the structure
    • A simple course outline eliminates confusion
    • Go with a minimalist menu system
    • Build consistency and simplicity into each module
  2. First impressions matter
    • Engage students immediately
    • Show them what’s going to happen in the class
  3. Justify your decisions
    • Let students know the reasons for decisions made and that you care about the class
      1. How the class works
      2. Why you chose the leaning materials
      3. Justify the grading system
  4. Built community with video introductions
    • This not only build a connection with you, the teacher, but also creates student to student connections
  5. Have a discussion about discussions
    • This helps give students ownership of the ground rules of discussion
    • Discussions is where a lot of learning happens, and a place where student to student connections are made.
  6. Weekly overviews
    • Make overviews in multiple formats – PDF/Video
    • Overview of big ideas
    • Frame big questions
    • Get students excited about engaging in material
  7. Don’t waste their time
    • If you can do something in an hour that will save your students an hour – do it!
    • For example: give a master mp3 of materials (busy students can download and listen at their convenience)- saves them time and gives them flexibility
  8. Read to them
    • You can add commentary
    • This helps to show students how to engage deeply with the material
    • This allows you to voice excitement for material and how it impacts you
  9. Respond freely
    • Use unedited video – turn on the camera and be yourself
    • It’s all about connections with students
    • Be concise, don’t waste students time
  10. Get feedback
    • Make sure students can give anonymous feedback
    • Make adjustments as needed

Thanks for visiting the Faculty Learning Corner. I hope this helps you “go out and make a great class.” See you next week.