The first, and I feel most important, thing you should do in an online environment is build a community. Your students do not see you everyday so it’s important to share with them just as you would if you were in a face to face class. Tell them about you, your family, your likes, what you did on the weekend. Not only are you reminding your students that there is a teacher built into this virtual world, you are also letting them know you are human. Make commitments to your students. This isn’t required by any means, but how refreshing would it be to as a student to see how your teacher has already committed to you. It definitely helps to build a level of respect.
Getting to know your students – what do they like, when is their birthday, what are they involved in? Then incorporate it into your course or allow for opportunities so your students can utilize their own knowledge Allow your students to get to know one another – sync and async discussions; team building activities Have clear expectations – Set up good practices for your students and make sure they are well defined in a syllabus that can be accessed anytime through out the year.
Sending messages and posting celebrations show your students that you care and you notice when they aren’t there or when they do something great. I also would ask if anyone had fun stuff to celebrate and would post it on the main course page, so the whole class could join in on the celebration. Students love to be recognized for their efforts and it goes a long way in keeping them motivated to continue great work.
When you facilitate an online course, you need to guide your students to success. That means setting up your course so it’s easy to navigate. Develop a layout that works for you and your students and stick to it. You don’t want to surprise your students by putting assignments in an unfamiliar place. Having a weekly checklist is a wonderful tool to create for your students. It will help them stay on pace, and that is key to their success. Including suggested work dates can help those students that need a little more guidance. Notice everything is due at the end of the week, but if the student follows the suggest work date, they never have to work on the weekend.
Phone, email, texts, messages through the course
We all know that all students are different and they learn in different ways. I recommend having your students complete a learning styles survey at the beginning of the year. You can find them for free online. You are not only empowering your student with the knowledge of how they learn best, but you are learning how they learn best. The beauty of an online environment is that is allows you to truly reach every student. You
Allow your students to receive new information in many ways, practice the content in a variety of ways, and then test it
You have to tell students why they are learning the information and you shouldn’t say because the state says so. Make it relevant to them. I tied each weekly unit to a different career pathway. Every assignment demonstrated how that pathway would use the application we were currently working on. One of the VS’s math teachers demonstrated relevancy by using a math equation to determine the length of time needed for the yellow light at a traffic intersection and used a math equation to determine the spread of n1h1.
We are working with Generation Y. They are digital natives and they love technology. It’s home to them…comfortable. You can add a level of engagement to your activities by allowing your students to use Web 2.0 tools to complete some of their assignments. All of these applications, and there are too many to show you today, are FREE. Yes, free…and free for your students as well!
SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES FOR TEACHING IN AN ONLINE ENVIRONMENT Going from an Online Rookie to a Pro
Give meaningful, timely, and individual feedback on assignments
Woowho! Great work, Sally Sue ! I’m so proud of you! Way to work out the many to many relationship by using Project Assigned! You are really thinking like a designer. The only opportunity for improvement would be to change the foreign keys in your junction table from autonumber to number. Other than that, AWESOME!!!