Advice for Those New to Online Learning
Advice for Those New to Online Learning:
Realizing that many educators may be new to challenges of online learning, Jonathan Michael Spector, Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas has made these 10 suggestions to help educators make this transition.
- Make sure the students know each other and their interests – with a short about-me message to all saying who they are, their major or academic interests, their outside interests, their current situation and something personal they are willing to share.
- Include a mix of synchronous (e.g., video-conferences) and asynchronous (e.g., discussion forums) sessions.
- Make asynchronous sessions focused on a problem or question that is relevant to readings and topics in the syllabus.
- Make online sessions as interactive as possible – avoid one-to-all, and someone-to-teacher communications.
- Make readings and related resources available online if possible.
- Make it easy to participate and accumulate grade points and make those assignments and related grading rubics known to all.
- Be sure ask questions when responding to students – do more asking than telling.
- Acknowledge good responses and thank those who make meaningful contributions.
- Avoid negative comments and do not let others make negative or disparaging remarks.
- Learn from others and from your shortfalls – after key lessons, have students respond to a fast-feedback form (e.g., what was the most important thing you learn in this lesson? what was the most confusing thing about this lesson for you? what you recommend doing differently or in addition?).