Designing an online course (continued)
Instructors can offer online group work, course projects, papers, quizzes, exams; and all work is submitted electronically through OnCourse. Instructors who go through formal training learn how to actively engage their students in an online course and specific methods to encourage active learning along with creative and critical thinking.
A lot of work is involved up front when designing an online course; what’s great, however, is that it can be reused and revised every semester.
Teaching an online course
There’s also a myth out there that teaching online means you lose the relationships that are naturally built in the face-to-face classroom. If a course is well designed and includes appropriate levels of interaction, relationships can be just as strong online as you have face-to-face. The relationships are just different.
A good online teacher will be actively involved with the students. He or she will provide feedback often, and will have a learning environment that is active 7 days a week (versus 2 or 3). That part of teaching online can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time.
Students cannot be ‘quiet’ in an online class. Everyone must participate and ‘speak’, or they might fail. This too is very interesting for instructors as gone are the days of students sleeping in class, texting, facebooking, or placing bids on Ebay!
If you want to learn more
If you are curious about online teaching and want to learn more, you can contact CISTL (click on Online Support Team in the drop down menu). Several times a year, CISTL offers a four-week online teaching course that’s taught completely online. That course will prepare you for designing and teaching an online course.
If you want to learn some specifics about online course design and pedagogy, click ‘Advanced’ on the drop down menu, but know that it will require you to authenticate yourself as an instructor by asking you to log in again.