What is Different About Teaching Online?
Teaching a blended or online course can be different than a traditional face-to-face course. Your role as instructor is less on designing and building the course (since this is done upfront) and more on facilitating student interaction and learning. Whether you are new to teaching or have been teaching in a face-to-face classroom for a while, there are additional skills needed to be a successful online instructor in the areas of preparing to teach, developing your online presence, facilitating student engagement, and communicating with students.
Why is it Important to Know How to Teach Online?
Similar to teaching in person, as an instructor you must determine how you are going to convey your unique personality, facilitate interactions, and communicate with students. Determining these before the course begins helps create boundaries around the amount of time you plan on spending in the course and how frequently you will respond to student questions.
Considerations for Teaching Online
When developing your online presence, consider that every instructor defines their virtual self differently. Determine what information about yourself and your work you want to share and why you think it is important. At the beginning of your course, you may have to be more active within the discussion forums and in responding to student questions. As the course progresses, you will find yourself moving from a more active instructor to the role of facilitator. It is helpful to establish guidelines at the beginning of the course for how long it will take you to respond so they will not expect an immediate response 24/7.
Getting Started with Teaching Online
Contact the Center for more information on teaching online or explore the Resource Library items on your own.