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Queen's University
 

Centre for Teaching and Learning

Strategies for Teaching in Online Environments

Teaching Strategies

  • instructional design is critical
  • design it ahead of time and think through everything you are asking the students to do - and make sure it works
  • relax and have fun learning about the new experience
  • remember it takes time to develop a teaching style online
  • evaluate your course regularly
  • keep web pages up to date and current
  • the most important role you will have is as a cheerleader and motivator, as people tend to get very unmotivated in an online environment
  • be prepared
  • tools are secondary -- learning is critical
  • try to push the limits of what's possible, I know this advice doesn't solve practical problems but have to get beyond them
  • trying to replicate what you do in the regular classroom is pointless if not impossible
  • make sure you know what you are getting into, expect to work harder than with any other course
  • try not to feel that you have to respond to every comment
  • use time-management strategies for online teaching and feedback

Engaging the Students

  • course development must be student friendly and where students are active participants rather than bystanders to learning
  • the same pace, content and approach will produce different results with different people
  • encourage mentoring relationships and learning communities
  • be explicit to students about the norms and grading
  • don't underestimate how much time students are spending online, doing readings, reading each others discussion and posting - think about the workload - and don't overload them

Technology Related Strategies

  • have students experiment more on the web so they aren't afraid of the technology
  • ensure that good technical support is in place
  • use the web once or twice a week purely for fun, that way you can become comfortable with the technology
  • keep track of any difficulties with the technology or course design
  • learn how to work effectively with students who are anxious about online learning and listen to and diffuse any concerns about the online learning process
  • campaign for more resources; e.g., improved access, adequate equipment, and technical support

Based on interview data collected by Denise Stockley and Vivian Rossner-Merrill

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000