<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
This module introduces a series of modules focused on strategies that instructors should consider when teaching in an online 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: know your medium!

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

Artist Karl Leitzel at Work, Photo by Karl Leitzel, Penn State University, World Campus

Oil paint is a mixture of pigments and certain kinds of oils, such as walnut oil, poppy seed oil, or others. One basic but important rule when applying oil paints is “fat over lean,” which means you should use “oilier” paints for each extra layer to avoid cracking or peeling. Knowing the paint (the medium) helps you to master fine techniques in oil painting. **

Likewise, when teaching online, one fundamental feature of the medium, the Internet, is that teaching and learning is done at a distance. As a result, many teaching and communication strategies seemingly not necessary in a face-to-face setting will now need to be spelled out to avoid miscommunication or confusion. Therefore, when teaching online, you’ll need to know the characteristics of an online environment and attend to appropriate ways of communicating, interacting, motivating, and supporting your students. These elements in an online environment are certainly differently from those in a traditional face-to-face setting.

In this Section, we present strategic teaching steps:

  • Promote Active Learning
  • Model Effective Online Interaction
  • Monitor Student Progress and Encourage Lagging Students
  • Assess Messages in Online Discussion
  • Sustain Students’ Motivation
  • Provide Feedback and Support
  • Encourage Students to Regulate Their Own Learning
  • Understand the Impact of Multiculturalism
  • Deal with Conflicts Promptly
  • Use Evaluation Data
** The information about oil painting is referenced from: (External Link)

Is frequent instructor-initiated personal email the most important way to improve students’ sense of community and learning experience in general?

No. Results from Woods’ (2002) research study suggest that frequent delivery of personalized emails did not increase the amount of student participation in required class discussions; the study identified no significant differences between groups in perceived sense of community, satisfaction with learning experience, and personal relationship with the instructor.

Woods, R.H. (2002). How much communication is enough in online courses?--Exploring the relationship between frequency of instructor-initiated personal email and learners' perceptions of and participation in online learning. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29(4) , 377-394

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Would content-directed online courses with less focus on collaboration and discussion affect the quality of learners’ learning experience?

Yes. Even though learner-content interaction is described as the “defining characteristic of education” in Moore’s (1989) Three Types of Interaction, content-driven online courses based on didactic teaching styles can certainly be frustrating for online learners. Learner interaction, collaboration, and good communication are all important motivators for learners to gain optimal learning experience.

Moore, M.G. (1989). Three types of interaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 3(2) , pp.1-6

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Many Course Management Systems (CMSs) generate reports about students’ log-on activities and progress in the course. Would that be enough for me to assess students’ participation in online discussions?

No. Only assessing the quantity of messages posted online can lead to poor quality of online discussions.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Will my participation in online discussion improve student engagement in the course discussions?

Yes. Instructors who participate in online discussions can promote students’ deeper involvement by answering questions, providing confirmation, critiques, encouragement, or additional resources.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Activity

The dynamics of the online classroom can cause a shift in the role of the instructor. How would you characterize the role of the instructor in the online learning environment? List some of the characteristics of this role. How is this role different from the face-to-face environment? If you wish, post your comments to the discussion board for this page. You may wish to reference one or all of the following concepts as you consider the role of the instructor:

  • Teacher-centered vs. Learner-centered learning environment
  • Sage-on-the-stage vs. Facilitator-on-the-side
  • Activity-rich vs. Media-rich online courses
  • Online vs. Traditional face-to-face classroom
  • New social and learning dynamics

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
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
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Best practices in online teaching. OpenStax CNX. Aug 28, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10453/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Best practices in online teaching' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask