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the role of a successful online instructor

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  • In order to best facilitate a successful distance course there has to be a joint effort of the school, the faculty and the student to the process. The school must commit the resources to prepare and support the instruction. The instructor must buy into the process and learn the necessary tools to be able to successfully transmit the information to students. The students must be self motivated and embrace the forum. If this communion of efforts is reached the distance format can be very successful over large expanses of geography and personalities.
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  • The role of an online instructor is essential to the success of an online course. As you stated, 'Successful online courses have effective designs and effective instructors. This requires support.'

    -Yvette de la Vega, FNU
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  • Good subject, be flexible with assignments consistent and clear and utilizing different technologies.
    Jesus Campos FNU
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  • I agree that successful instructors need to keep it simple. Its not a course and a half! Also to not let the technology/multimedia dog wag the instructional tail.
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  • Good point Jayhem! Creating opportunity for a diverse range of students is important. Being able to get leading edge materials that reflect current levels of technology to rural students or students who have challenges with accessing traditional education is a blessing for those students and for society.
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the role of a successful online instructor

  1. 1. Keys to Success What Works? Alexandra M. Pickett Assistant Director, SUNY Learning Network Faculty Development & Instructional Design 2001 Sloan-C Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Development
  2. 2. Keys to Success ? <ul><li>Passion for teaching! </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to “rethink” how you teach. </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment and time to develop. </li></ul><ul><li>Commit to iterate. Review/Evaluate/Revise/Evolve. </li></ul><ul><li>Complete course prior to teaching. (Or complete plan for blended course.) </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional/administrative support. </li></ul>! Are you ready ?
  3. 3. Keys to Success ? ! <ul><li>Faculty-driven course design– course not imposed by the CMS application or the instructional designer, but are well informed and influenced by best practices and standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty must develop the course themselves – independent. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for participation in online courses or discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>Observation of live exemplar online courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Access to successful/effective experienced faculty, opportunities for inter/intra disciplinary networking, peer support/training. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual ID support and technical HelpDesk support. </li></ul><ul><li>Wizard to scaffold faculty with an effective quick start course design. </li></ul><ul><li>Robust, reliable, stable network & technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Course template that makes technology transparent. </li></ul><ul><li>Collecting and sharing best practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Longitudinal, systematic data collection and analysis --Nationally recognized scholarly work to back us up. </li></ul><ul><li>Resources and support in a variety of media. </li></ul><ul><li>Formal opportunities for faculty reflection, evaluation, and revision. </li></ul>What worked for us...
  4. 4. What works ? What I have learned from working with over 3,000 SUNY faculty, from 40+ SUNY institutions, and thousands of students since 1994. <ul><li>Successful online courses have effective designs and effective instructors . This requires support . </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty need to understand the nature of the online environment. This requires training . </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty need to be able to concentrate on teaching, students need to be able to focus on learning -- technology must be as transparent as possible. This requires robust technology . </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty must convert instruction, rather than try to duplicate activities online. Conversion requires “rethinking” how to achieve learning objectives & how to assess learning within the options and limitations of the new learning environment(s). This requires willingness, commitment, and time . </li></ul>In general. . .
  5. 5. Introduction WORKS WORKS W h a t W h a t ? ? <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who are you? Faculty/Instructional Designers? Blended/Online? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One effective best practice/strategy or tip you would share with online/blended faculty/IDs. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the characteristics of an successful online/blended instructor? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Successful instructors I nteraction E xpectations C ollaboration S implicity S upport F lexibility <ul><li>Create teaching and learning opportunities and environments where students can interact with students AND where students can interact with faculty. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>present. engage. assess. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SLN student satisfaction surveys: the biggest contributing factor to student satisfaction and perceived learning is student/teacher interaction. Second is student to student interaction. </li></ul></ul></ul>Know their role is to. . .
  7. 7. Successful instructors <ul><li>Create and communicate to the student a reasonable set of expectations for the level and kinds of interactions in an online course. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>explicitly set expectations for interactions, conduct, and completion of all course learning activities. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>provide models and anticipate issues. and questions. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>do what they say. </li></ul></ul></ul>I nteraction E xpectations C ollaboration S implicity S upport F lexibility Know their role is to. . .
  8. 8. Successful instructors I nteraction E xpectations C ollaboration S implicity S upport F lexibility <ul><li>Promote community, teaching presence, and collaboration. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Peer support. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small group activities/projects. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Since student to student interaction is such a significant factor in student satisfaction, any opportunities created in a course that involve collaboration to construct knowledge is an important component of an online course </li></ul></ul></ul>Know their role is to. . .
  9. 9. Successful instructors <ul><li>Keep it simple. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Its not a course and a half! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide instructional cues, logical organization, easy navigation, sign posts, advanced organizers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not let the technology/multimedia dog wag the instructional tail. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide rubrics, examples, self-assessments. </li></ul></ul></ul>I nteraction E xpectations C ollaboration S implicity S upport F lexibility Know their role is to. . .
  10. 10. Successful instructors <ul><li>Support student learning. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty: facilitate and guide student learning. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students: are self-motivated and given every opportunity to know how they can succeed. </li></ul></ul></ul>I nteraction E xpectations C ollaboration S implicity S upport F lexibility Know their role is to. . .
  11. 11. Successful instructors <ul><li>Create a flexible teaching and learning environment that is student-centered and that evolves and iterates as their own experiences and understanding grows. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FACULTY: have commitment to continuous improvement as educators. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>STUDENTS: have responsibility and accountability for their own learning. </li></ul></ul></ul>I nteraction E xpectations C ollaboration S implicity S upport F lexibility Know their role is to. . .
  12. 12. What works ? <ul><ul><ul><li>Best Practices: effective online instructors. . . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>are student centered and sensitive to the student’s perspective. “Assume nothing” and anticipate and address student questions in the design of the course. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>are responsive and present in the course. Promote teaching presence. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>follow the simple formula: Present, engage/interact, assess. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>! 3 2 1
  13. 13. <ul><ul><ul><li>Best Practices: Effective online instructors. . . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>create complete well-explained online and off line activities. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>provide models and rubrics, use directives, first/second person voice, advanced organizers, the structure of the course/subjects to convey instructional content, conversational tone. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>encourage a sense of class community & provide community building opportunities & interactions. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>What works ? ! 6 5 4
  14. 14. Conclusions <ul><li>maintain accurate assumptions about students. </li></ul><ul><li>be prepared. </li></ul><ul><li>provide prompt feedback and be responsive to the student needs, experience, and perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>demonstrate teaching presence in the course. </li></ul><ul><li>understand and leverage appropriately and effectively the options and limitations of the environments in which s/he works. </li></ul><ul><li>be willing to rethink how s/he teaches and to evolve. </li></ul><ul><li>effectively create and cultivate a sense of class community. </li></ul><ul><li>understand how to effectively assess students. </li></ul>The role of a successful online/blended instructor. . . !
  15. 15. Any questions Any questions ? ?
  16. 16. Thank you! Thank you! Alexandra M. Pickett [email_address] sln.suny.edu/developer sln.suny.edu

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