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This module focuses on the preparation required to be successful in an online teaching environment. This module is part of the Best Practices in Online Teaching Course created by Penn State University World Campus as a guide for faculty who are new to teaching in an online environment.

Introduction: good preparation is half of the success!

Online teaching is an art…just like oil painting, writing, or any other art.

Outdoor Easel Setup, Photo by Karl Leitzel, Penn State University, World Campus

If you are just starting an oil painting, you need to prepare brushes, paints, canvas, and other miscellaneous items such as an easel or reference resources. You need to know how to choose your brushes and prime your canvas for the best possible effects. You will also need to decide what your painting will convey and how to accomplish that goal on the canvas. *

Similarly, when you start teaching an online course, you need to decide what you want your students to achieve from taking the course, and how you can attain that goal by thoroughly preparing before the course start date. More importantly, you need to know how to ready your students and your course for an effective teaching and learning environment.

In this section of the Best Practices in Online Teaching course, we present the key information you’ll need to consider when preparing for your online course:

  • Prepare for Success
  • Using a Course Management System (CMS) in Your Teaching
  • Prepare Your Students for Learning Online
  • Specify Course Goals, Expectations, and Policies
  • Create a Warm and Inviting Atmosphere to Build a Learning Community
  • Online Instructor Performance Guidelines/Expectations and Best Practices

*The information about oil painting is referenced from: (External Link)

Self-assessment questions

Do students automatically know how to learn in an online environment when taking an online course for the first time?

No. Students may enter an online classroom expecting traditional classroom teaching methods; they may lack the level of independence required by online learning; they may demonstrate new personality traits not previously revealed in traditional classrooms (Palloff&Pratt, 2001).

Palloff, R.M.,&Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom: The realities of online teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

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I’ve taught a course face-to-face and am going to teach the same course online next semester. Can I use the syllabus from my face-to-face teaching in the online version of the course?

No. The syllabus for a resident course is good to go when it includes course goals, learning objectives, course materials, assignments due dates, grading, and class policies. However, for an online course, the syllabus may need to include guidelines, tips, relevant policies, and detailed schedules for lessons and assignments, which can help students successfully complete the online course.

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Be prepared! good preparation is half of the success!

Success in the online classroom is greatly enhanced if you know your way around the structure and operation of the course environment. In the physical classroom we anticipate an environment based on prior experience, for example, a room with light switches, a chalk board, perhaps a projection screen, seats and so forth. We rarely need to familiarize ourselves with a new classroom because of our experience with past facilities. In the online classroom we may not be as familiar with the “surroundings” and operational course features and can quickly become frustrated with the online experience. This is particularly true if you did not serve as the original course author.

Spending time prior to the course in the online “classroom” to familiarize yourself with its features, design, and operational aspects will create a smoother transition for you and your students. You'll want to review the presentation of the course content, become familiar with the discussion space (if used), understand the sequencing of required student activities (homework) assignments, and know where and how you can post and interact with the class participants. For example, course related emails are more easily tracked and managed when sent through the ANGEL system rather than externally in other email systems.

Contacting your instructional designer and getting to know your online classroom will serve you by removing anxiety about course operation and allowing you to focus on creating the right learning atmosphere for your students.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
Difference between extinct and extici spicies
Amanpreet Reply
While the American heart association suggests that meditation might be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments as a way to manage hypertension
Beverly Reply
Researchers demonstrated that the hippocampus functions in memory processing by creating lesions in the hippocampi of rats, which resulted in ________.
Mapo Reply
The formulation of new memories is sometimes called ________, and the process of bringing up old memories is called ________.
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Source:  OpenStax, Best practices in online teaching. OpenStax CNX. Aug 28, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10453/1.2
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