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Top Ten Things Learned From
Ten Years of Online Teaching
Michelle Everson
Department of Educational Psychology
gaddy001@um...
A Little Bit About Me
• I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of
Educational Psychology (in the Quantitative
Methods in...
Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in
Statistics Education (GAISE)
• We have worked hard to align our online course...
Organization
#10: Planning for and designing an
online course involves much more
than simply taking everything you
do in the classroom ...
Some Things to Think About
• How will students learn from and interact with the material?
• How will students interact wit...
#9: Students appreciate regular
communication and timely feedback
on their progress, choices about
what and how they learn...
Communication and Feedback
• Students are told we will attempt to respond to
questions within 24 to 48 hours
• We make sur...
Choices
• Students in some of our courses have
choices about:
– The kind of statistical software they can learn
and use (e...
#8: Scavenger hunts and syllabus
quizzes are good things!
#7: Instructor presence is
important, and there are many ways
an instructor can be present in the
online environment.
• In our courses, we check in frequently with
student discussion groups and participate by:
– Cheering students on and let...
#6: There are many great tools out
there to make our online courses
even better, and some of them are
even free!
A few examples
Jing: www.techsmith.com/jing.html
Screencast-O-Matic: http://www.screencast-o-
matic.com/
VideoANT: http://...
#5: Deadlines are very important,
and it’s helpful if they are consistent
from week to week.
#4: Teaching online is a lot of work,
and it’s important, as an instructor,
to budget your time wisely so you
do not get b...
#3: We have great opportunities in
the online environment that we
don’t always get in the classroom,
and we need to take a...
#2: It can help if you share ideas,
collaborate, and commiserate about
the online teaching experience with
others. If you ...
http://teachonline.causeweb.org
#1: There is still a lot I don’t know
about online teaching, but I enjoy
being able to try new things and
experiment with ...
What I am still figuring out…
• What is the best way to GRADE a discussion assignment?
• How do you best deal with student...
Thank you for being here today, and
please reach out if you would like to
talk more about online teaching:
gaddy001@umn.ed...
Top Ten Things Learned From Ten Years of Online Statistics Teaching (Michelle Everson)
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Top Ten Things Learned From Ten Years of Online Statistics Teaching (Michelle Everson)

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Here are the slides for Dr. Michelle Everson's presentation to the Winter 2014 Meeting of the American Statistical Association's Twin Cities Chapter, focused on statistics education. Dr. Everson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.

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Top Ten Things Learned From Ten Years of Online Statistics Teaching (Michelle Everson)

  1. 1. Top Ten Things Learned From Ten Years of Online Teaching Michelle Everson Department of Educational Psychology gaddy001@umn.edu
  2. 2. A Little Bit About Me • I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology (in the Quantitative Methods in Education track/Statistics Education program) – I am also the current Editor of the Journal of Statistics Education (JSE) and the program chair for the Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics (eCOTS) • I have been teaching online since 2004 – I have helped develop and regularly teach four online courses: • EPSY 3264: Basic and Applied Statistics • EPSY 5261: Introductory Statistical Methods • EPSY 5262: Intermediate Statistical Methods • EPSY 5271: Becoming a Teacher of Statistics
  3. 3. Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) • We have worked hard to align our online courses with the GAISE recommendations: 1. Emphasize statistical literacy and develop statistical thinking 2. Use real data 3. Stress conceptual understanding rather than mere knowledge of procedures 4. Foster active learning in the classroom 5. Use technology for developing conceptual understanding and analyzing data 6. Use assessments to improve and evaluate student learning See the GAISE College Report for more details: http://www.amstat.org/education/gaise/
  4. 4. Organization
  5. 5. #10: Planning for and designing an online course involves much more than simply taking everything you do in the classroom and putting it online.
  6. 6. Some Things to Think About • How will students learn from and interact with the material? • How will students interact with each other and with the instructor? • How will you assess students? • What type of classroom management system will you use and what kind of support will you get for using it? • How much time will it take students to get through different assignments/activities? – Assignments and activities can take more time online than they do in the classroom (from both the student and instructor vantage points). • How much of a time investment will it be for the instructor to keep up with the class? – If you can do a lot upfront to save yourself time during the semester/quarter, you will be thankful later on!
  7. 7. #9: Students appreciate regular communication and timely feedback on their progress, choices about what and how they learn, and an organized classroom environment.
  8. 8. Communication and Feedback • Students are told we will attempt to respond to questions within 24 to 48 hours • We make sure that there are multiple ways we can connect with students (e.g., Skype, chat, telephone, in- person meetings, etc.) • We attempt to get assignments graded within a week (or sooner if students need that feedback to move forward) – Our class sizes, at most, are between 45 and 50 students – If we have more than 30 students in a section, we get support from a teaching assistant • Announcements are made each week to remind students of important activities/deadlines
  9. 9. Choices • Students in some of our courses have choices about: – The kind of statistical software they can learn and use (e.g., R, SPSS, or StatCrunch) – Topics that can be pursued for a course project – When and how they will work with their peers and complete online assignments • In one course, students can even create their own assignment
  10. 10. #8: Scavenger hunts and syllabus quizzes are good things!
  11. 11. #7: Instructor presence is important, and there are many ways an instructor can be present in the online environment.
  12. 12. • In our courses, we check in frequently with student discussion groups and participate by: – Cheering students on and letting them know if they are on the right track – Highlighting important points made during discussion – Questioning students about their understanding, or asking students for clarification – Attempting to correct misconceptions/misunderstandings – Providing direct instruction if students appear to be struggling to understand material – Sharing some of our own examples or experiences
  13. 13. #6: There are many great tools out there to make our online courses even better, and some of them are even free!
  14. 14. A few examples Jing: www.techsmith.com/jing.html Screencast-O-Matic: http://www.screencast-o- matic.com/ VideoANT: http://ant.umn.edu/ ShowMe: http://www.showme.com/
  15. 15. #5: Deadlines are very important, and it’s helpful if they are consistent from week to week.
  16. 16. #4: Teaching online is a lot of work, and it’s important, as an instructor, to budget your time wisely so you do not get burned out.
  17. 17. #3: We have great opportunities in the online environment that we don’t always get in the classroom, and we need to take advantage of these opportunities.
  18. 18. #2: It can help if you share ideas, collaborate, and commiserate about the online teaching experience with others. If you don’t have those opportunities within your own department, it’s always possible to find others who share your passion for online teaching.
  19. 19. http://teachonline.causeweb.org
  20. 20. #1: There is still a lot I don’t know about online teaching, but I enjoy being able to try new things and experiment with different tools/activities/assignments.
  21. 21. What I am still figuring out… • What is the best way to GRADE a discussion assignment? • How do you best deal with students who are rude or say inappropriate things during discussion? • How do you best structure assignments, activities, and resources to accommodate students who may have disabilities? • How do find that perfect balance so you are not online much more than you need to be? • How can you motivate the students who don’t seem to see any benefits to discussing course content with their peers? • How can we get students to attend to what they should be attending to in the online course?
  22. 22. Thank you for being here today, and please reach out if you would like to talk more about online teaching: gaddy001@umn.edu 

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