Thursday, January 12, 2012

Attention Online Instructors and Students: Suggestions?

Good coffee: A fine online teaching companion

Are you teaching or taking online classes? I’m writing a handbook on how to be an online student and I need your help. I’d love to share your advice & suggestions to future online students.

How would you answer the questions below? Please leave a comment here or email me (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.) Be sure to include how I should refer to you if I publish your comment (name, school affiliation, years experience teaching/studying online.) If you prefer to remain anonymous, please let me know.

If you have other suggestions about being an online student (specifics about email, online etiquette, course navigation, etc.), feel free to include those, too.

The handbook will be applicable for all subjects (not only writing or literature classes.) I hope you’ll share this request with friends, classmates and colleagues in any field.

Thank you again for your help and good luck with the new semester.
Best wishes,

Online Teachers:
What do you wish students knew (about online classes, not the content of your course) before they started to study online?

How can online students make a good first (and lasting) impression?

What kinds of online activities are easy for most students?

What is the biggest mistake online students commonly make?

What advice do you regularly give your online students?

What do you wish you knew before you took an online class?

What was the biggest mistake you made – and could have avoided – in an online course?

What advice would you give future online students?


Susan Bernadzikowski, Cecil College said...

I wish students knew that the online format is a good fit for some students and for some courses, but that it can be deadly for others. For example, when students lack the motivation to get to class regularly, they may think that the flexibility of an online class is the answer. In fact, online classes require more self discipline.

I would also want students to know that the quality of online courses varies widely, just as it may with on-campus courses, and, if possible, they should shop around. Ultimately, the three greatest factors in quality are the same as in the class room, but the third is critical online: (1) the instructor’s expertise, (2) the student’s drive to learn, and (3) regular, clear, respectful communication between instructor and student.

Finally, I wish that students knew that there is no educational substitute for ongoing membership in a community of teachers and learners. Online learning has to be the means for greater connection to that community, not detachment from it. The extent to which an online forum can create such a community is the extent to which it will be delivering a true education.

Chloe Yelena Miller said...

Wow - thanks so much, Susan. I really appreciate your taking the time to write this out and share your thoughts.