Good Practices in Online Education


This section is for teachers who are seeking ways to offer effective online courses (for definition, click on table of content section to the right) using Luvit among other tools.

By incorporating collaborative, active learning methods into physical and virtual classrooms, you can help increase student engagement and class interaction. These elements of collaboration include voice, social presence, chat, share (sharing applications with students and peers), video, and content.

Good practice: Basics

  • Upload all materials in Luvit before beginning the semester: slides, assignments, ancillary materials, etc = Everything you intent for your students to learn week for week. Your students might be away for a period of time for different reasons and need to do November's work in September. Make the course as flexible for them as you can.
  • Be consistent in how you present things online. Use same icons, fonts, format, etc. Your students won't be able to sit in the classroom every week and ask you questions, so avoid misconceptions.
  • It takes a lot more time to teach via hybrid than it does teaching live in the classroom. Expect to spend more time preparing, communicating and teaching a course. As a teacher you HAVE to be involved online if you expect your students to be involved online!
    On the other hand, it's important to learn how to manage your time when it comes to teaching online. If it feels like the course is hanging over your head 24/7, because the course "never ends" it's just not fun anymore. A good advice could be to list a matching of expectations, i.e. what your students can expect from you and what you expect from your students.

Example of expectations

What you can expect from me as a teacher
What I expect from you as a student
  • I will respond to all your e-mails within 24 hours.
  • I will give feedback on all your assignments within x hours.
  • Etc.
  • Active participation
  • You can expect that I will follow the discussions in the discussion board, but not necessarily comment on every posting.
  • Etc
  • Ensure that the students understand the need for self-direction. In a normal course, students show up for class every week, hand in homework, know you're going to ask certain questions, ergo they have to be prepared. But when they work online it's all up to them. They have to be self-directed. Fewer live classes doesn't mean less work done for either student or teacher.

Good practice: Wiki

  • Create a wiki for the course. It's easy to use and it's a great collaboration and communication tool. Compared to discussion boards, a Wiki is often much "cleaner". The discussion board has thread after thread after thread, and often won't tell you if you've read them all, which can be very frustrating. Read more about wikis in the definitions sections below.

Good practice: Discussion Board

  • Create all needed forums before the semester begins: post starter questions to get people talking. A discussion board is a very good tool for getting talking back and forth. In hybrid classes, students are very dependent on learning from each other, sharing their experiences, getting advice, ideas and coaching.
  • Comment early and often - be moderator AND participant. Get in there early and start a good practice of writing things professionally: Clearly and in complete sentences (No chat or sms language).
    • However, do not interfere TOO much in the discussions and respond to each student. You want the students to respond to each other and not ONLY to you. Step back a bit, but tell the students in the expectations section (see above) that you will be reading and give feedback every now and then. Not individual feedback, but feedback for the class. Keep individual feedback privately (otherwise students who didn't get individual feedback might think they did a poor job).
  • Create an "Ask me" forum, where they can ask questions, get advice from you, etc.
  • Require students to use full sentences in subject lines.
Here's an example why:
Ideas?
Re: Ideas?
Re:Re: Ideas?
Re:Re:Re: Ideas?
Re:Re:Re:Re:Ideas?
Who knows what the 10th thing is really about and why would you click on it an read it? How would you get any kind of debate going from something that is 16 Re's down the list? You can't. That's why students have to write in full sentences, both when they make a posting and when they answer to one. And that complete sentence should be a summary of their main argument, so that people know exactly what they would be looking for when they read your discussion posting.

This also goes for writing e-mails: complete sentences should be used in the subject line. This will give you a clear idea of what's in that e-mail. This is CRITICAL for communication! Many teachers and students get swamped with e-mails everyday. You want people to be able to persuade others in e-mail, coach others in e-mail, delegate work in e-mail, and you can't do that if the subject line is "Hi".

Definitions


Online course

Online courses, blended learning, distance learning, net-based learning, hybrid format or hybrid classes - Succes has many names! What often is referred to here is the mix between a live classroom teaching where students and teacher meet face-to-face with teaching and learning online. Any learning that takes place with a computer and an internet connection.

Wiki

En wiki er en hjemmeside, hvor enhver ved hjælp af en browser kan oprette, vedligeholde og forfatte webdokumenter og websider i samarbejde med andre.

En wiki er en moderne teknologi (web 2.0), som muliggør, at mange brugere i fællesskab opbygger indhold/viden.
En wiki sætter grupper i stand til at organisere og dele indhold og viden på en organisk og fri måde, og gør det muligt at planlægge og dokumentere deres daglige aktiviteter.

En wiki kan også bruges som et intranet, hvor medarbejdere kan bidrage med indhold i et samarbejde, og derved erstatte et traditionelt webmaster-vedligeholdt intranet.

Find and create wiki-software here: