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Top Ten


Top Ten for Online Instructors: How to ensure your students HATE their online course!

Top Ten for Online Instructors: How to ensure your students HATE their online course!

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  • 1. Top Ten for Online Instructors How to ensure your students HATE their online course! Cindy Seibel, July 2007
  • 2. Number 1
    • Provide only your name and title to introduce yourself online
    Social Presence Creating a community of learning is an important aspect of the online environment. Students may never have the chance to meet face to face. The instructor sets an important example by introducing him/herself with personal information and preferably a picture. Why not?
  • 3. Number 2
    • Do not provide a private space online for interaction with the instructor
    Why not? Teaching Presence A private space for dialogue is part of the feedback mechanism for students, demonstrating that the instructor is engaged and available.
  • 4. Number 3
    • Post entries from learner journals directly into the discussion groups
    Why not? Social Presence Communities function best in an environment of mutual respect. The instructor sets a very poor example by posting personal entries in a public space without permission of the student.
  • 5. Number 4
    • Do not ask the students to introduce themselves
    Why not? Social Presence In addition to introducing themselves, instructors need to invite students to introduce themselves. This can be done in the context of an opening assignment with an added quiz that encourages students to dig through each other’s responses.
  • 6. Number 5
    • Provide only one way for learners to communicate with each other (or not at all)
    Why not? Cognitive Presence Students need different ways to reflect, ask questions and engage in higher order thinking. Different ways of connecting - through asynchronous and synchronous discussions, emails and writings - help students to build better understanding of content and context.
  • 7. Number 6
    • Keep the contact information of the other participants secret
    Why not? Social Presence Creating a community is vital. Students need to know how to connect one with the other.
  • 8. Number 7
    • Give only multiple choice tests - especially at the end of the course
    Cognitive Presence Multiple choice tests demonstrate knowledge of facts, only one component of learning. Varied assessments are needed to demonstrate true understanding. Why not?
  • 9. Number 8
    • Do not participate in the discussion groups with new questions, comments or directions
    Why not? Teaching Presence The instructor provides feedback, demonstrates engagement and can breathe new life into a stagnant discussion through his/her participation.
  • 10. Number 9
    • Limit the content of the course to readings and writing of papers
    Cognitive Presence When the course is limited to only one type of content and one modality, the learner does not have the opportunity to build on the knowledge of others. The content should include a range of discussions, chats, presentations, readings, and written work. Why not?
  • 11. Number 10
    • Keep all the grades until after the last day of the course
    Why not? Teaching Presence Students need feedback in regards to their learning and accomplishments. Feedback keeps them engaged and encourages them to come back to class!
  • 12. The End May you never experience the Top Ten!