What Students Can Teach Us about Online Learning

My students participate in an activity called “Building a Learning Community” during the first week of classes. In this activity, completed via a discussion board, I ask them to share about three topics: what their best and “not best” teachers did that helped or hindered their learning, what peers have done that has had a positive or negative impact, and feedback on certain policies (e.g., late work, deadlines). The answers have taught me a lot about online teaching, and my responses on these boards provide the students with insight on what they can expect from me.

Strategies to Improve Retention in Online Courses and Programs

As colleges and universities continue to invest in and expand the number of online courses and degree programs they offer, retaining online students is an area of focus for college faculty and administrators. There is a variety of ways that colleges can keep their online students.

Inviting Students In: The Art of Hospitality in Online Classrooms

As instructors, we learn a lot about our students by their physical presence in a face-to-face course, from their dress to their demeanor. Students also learn a lot about us this way. But that information is lost in an online class. Thus, it is important to invite students in to online classes right at the beginning to foster a learning environment. Here are some strategies that I have found to work.

Using Stories to Create Real-Life Learning in Online Classes

Children learn language not by being given a list of words to memorize and practice, but by simply absorbing language from their environment by listening and using it in their daily lives. The total immersion method replicates this process by putting the learner into the world of language so that he or she can learn it by listening and doing.