With online teaching growing at a very fast pace, online teachers need to meet the increasing demands of online education. Here are some of the best practices for online teaching that will help instructors effectively manage their courses and lead their students towards a successful completion of their online degree.
Guide Your Students
It is highly probable that this is the first time for most of your students to be taking an online course, and guiding them into practicing good online study habits, such as managing their time efficiently and being more responsible for their own learning would be vital in helping them succeed in your course.
Maintain Constant Engagement
Even without actual physical presence, online instructors can establish this by constantly engaging with their online learners. As soon as the course begins, connect with your students by welcoming them to the course and introducing yourself to them. Conversely, it would be a good idea to ask them to also give you a brief background of themselves, what their interests, are and why they decided to sign up for your online course. Let them know that they can always contact you for any questions, clarifications, issues, and suggestions and inform them about the tools available for them to communicate with you.
Regularly Participate in the Discussion Forums
Online discussion forums are included as developers create online courses because they are a great way to exchange ideas and clarify particular topics. And as your students see that you are frequently joining these discussions, they will be motivated to participate in them, too. Keep in mind that you do not have to dominate the discussions. Rather, it will be good for you to manage these and provide a sound direction to the exchanges, motivating your students to understand the topics much deeper.
Provide Constructive Feedback
Providing feedback to your online students might be a bit more challenging compared to mentoring students in a traditional classroom setting. The absence of face to face conversation opens up a greater possibility to misinterpretations, so be very careful with how you provide your feedback. Maintain a professional, constructive tone and make sure that you cite facts to support your assessment. Also give your students realistic and clear action plans so that they improve their current performance, then monitor and provide support whenever necessary.
Manage Your Time Well
Just as online students need to plan and schedule their time for online learning, so should online instructors manage their time efficiently so that they can regularly respond to their students in a timely manner, provide assessment as scheduled, and ensure that they are able to assist the learners whenever they need help with their coursework. It will be good to inform your students your availability and when they can expect a response to any message they would send you. Also let them know when you will be grading their work and posting on the discussion boards.
By implementing these best practices in online teaching, you can be sure that your students with actually learn from the course and successfully complete it with your help!
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on creating online courses such as those offered by CourseMinded.com.