Learners face tough challenges adapting to online environments.
Individuals must create mental models in order to understand and internalize the online environment.
By defining your student expectations with a well designed syllabus, Module Overviews, and a system for open communication, your students will feel more comfortable in the online classroom and be able to set clear goals of what they need to accomplish.
Setting Expectations on Survivor Expectations are set in many ways in order for people to understand their responsibilities. Notice how the host of the TV show, Survivor, sets the expectations for the participants with detailed instructions outlining the purpose of the event.
Provide a Module Overview section that includes a Check Sheet of every assignment and activity for each module. Be sure to include the date each assignment or activity is due.
This will help students stay on track and feel at peace in the online classroom. See the Module Overview for this class to get a better idea of this concept.
Time Management for Students In the well known study by Chickering and Ehrmann (1996) they stated, “Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and professionals alike. Allocating a realistic amount of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for faculty” (p.4).
Naturally, online courses will vary in time and workload, however, the following bullet points will give you a gauge for a typical 3 hour course.
According to the finding of Dr. Rita Conrad, presented at the LERN annual conference in 2001, a typical 3 hour course would include the following time allotments:
40 hours of reading.
20 hours of discussion with the teacher or students.
30 hours of doing assignments and projects.
30 hours of studying and taking tests.
15 hours of management tasks.
135 hours total (2002).
Good Examples of a Web-Based Syllabus The links below will take you to web sites that provide examples of a good online syllabus. Examine each of these links and think of what you might add or subtract from your current syllabus if you where teaching online. COBL example online syllabus http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/exampleSyllabus.asp
Closure In this lesson, you learned the first step to effectively facilitating your online course, setting student expectations. A well planned syllabus will help your students succeed in your online course. A good syllabus will also help to enhance the learning and establish a comprehensive idea of the overall design of the course.