HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
classroom management for online courses
The beginning of an online course is a critical time in which the instructor establishes expectations, sets the tone, and helps students navigate the course. Here are some points to consider for the time leading up to and including that first week:
Here are a few tips to ensure your students have a positive online learning experience.
Personal introductions. By using the personal introductions of students, an instructor can get to know his/her students better, thus allowing interaction with individual students in a more personal manner. When students see that the instructor is reaching out to them on a personal basis, it helps establish a rapport and put the student at ease.
In order to be part of an effective learning community, online learners need to feel the presence of the instructor and fellow learners. Jane Dwyer, a senior lecturer at Rivier College, uses the following techniques to create this sense of social presence in her online psychology courses:
Although the online classroom environment provides tremendous flexibility of time and place of study, establishing and communicating a course pace and pattern of work can aid both instructor and student, and alleviate confusion of course operation.
“Managing student expectations is important in any class but even more so for online and blended courses where it’s easy for students to feel lost,” says Susan Ko, executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). “Even well structured, academically rigorous online classes can have diminished effectiveness due to a lack of clear expectations.”