As an instructor new to the online environment, I carefully reviewed the syllabus and the requirements for the course discussions and assignments and incorporated the following ideas from Myers-Wylie, Mangieri & Hardy: a “what you need to know” document that includes policies about late work, formatting, source citations, grading and feedback, and the dangers of plagiarism; a separate “assignments at a glance” calendar that details due dates and submission instructions; a “frequently asked questions” thread in the discussion forum; detailed scoring rubrics for each assignment, and example assignments. As is typical in the online environment, my course was equipped with areas for announcements and discussions and a grade book with a place to post comments for individual students. I used all these formats to communicate with students about course requirements and provide detailed feedback.
Education has traditionally gone from teacher to student. This is partly a leftover from the age when the university was a vault of information not available elsewhere. Teachers were truly walking repositories of knowledge. But all that has changed. Now, nearly everything I teach is available elsewhere. More important, information can be preserved digitally. This means that students can become teachers by producing permanent course content for other students. This also means that students can produce course content for future classes, engaging in a conversation across generations of learners.
This article presents online instructional strategies that address career management objectives in science and engineering courses that may improve student interest in STEM occupations and participation in science-related careers.
Whether teaching MOOCs (massive open online courses), a class whose enrollment has unexpectedly peaked, or courses where schools have upped the enrollment caps, it’s crucial there be as much a connection as possible between the students and instructor. Sure, students can still learn from a class if the instructor is in the shadows—and some students simply assume this will be the case in a large enrollment class—but the learning experience will be much better when the instructor puts in the effort to stay involved, active, engaged, and visible in the course. Indeed, the large-enrollment class can offer nearly the same intimacy as a smaller one, but it does take some effort. Here’s how.
Differences in content and teaching style can lead two instructors to take different approaches to blended course design, said Thomas Cavanagh, associate vice president of distributed learning at the University of Central Florida, in a recent Magna Online Seminar.