There are a lot of differences teaching online vs. face-to-face. If you are new to implementing online modules or courses into your traditional classroom or are a fairly new online teacher or maybe you haven’t had much formal training in teaching online, here are 4 quick tips to help you with teaching online:
So, do you want to try teaching without using your face, hands, or voice? Sounds daunting doesn’t. When teaching online there aren’t any non-verbal communication devices….for the most part. Since much of online teaching is currently asynchronous, you have to consider that the student it unable to watch your facial expressions and body language when delivering content. Also, your sense of humor may not transfer so things that are funny out-loud may sound like insults or demoralizing comments in digital text. You need to get very good at being super specific in emails (the main form of online communication), instant messaging and feedback. You want to show emotion through the use of emoticons and acronyms but be careful not to lose that teacher-student relationship by being overly friendly and informal.
2. Course Development:
Developing courses online takes 1.5 to 4 times as long as developing a face-to-face course. A large part of this is that you have to spend so much time researching curriculum for accuracy prior to publishing the material online. However, the main issue that adds to development time is your necessity for attention to detail. You have to be ultra specific. Think of publishing your online lesson and assessments as the first period of the day or the first time you teach a new lesson. In face-to-face you get to do it 4 or 5 times to perfect it that day, but online when you put something up, it needs to be almost perfect (shooting for perfection) the first time. You are building all your scaffolding into the lesson and laying out details to help eliminate student errors and misunderstanding when they are working from home.
When working with a student face-to-face you can walk around, glance over their shoulder and make comments like “you might want to be more specific on that sentence” or “double check number 12, you still have some work to do.” But when you are online, there are very little formative assessments. So, you might consider getting into the habit of treating all assignments as if they are formative. When a student turns in something, write all your feedback with the intention that a student is going to redo the missed questions. Then make sure you set up your assessments so they can.
4. Engage without Handouts:
Many teachers new to online teaching begin by trying to recreate what’s familiar. A lot of people will try to scan in former handouts that they used, or record 20-30 minute lectures they have done for years (5 minutes tops for videos), or have straight textbook and quiz lessons. Since you are online and all of your students have access to a computer, take advantage of the tremendous amount of resources and free Web 2.0 tools available on the Internet. Use engaging material, stuff that you have wanted to use or heard of others doing but couldn’t quite implement before because there were so many roadblocks in a traditional class.