Winding Down

koalaAs the semester comes to a close it is time to reflect on what was successful and what elements of your course you feel might need some adjustments.  The semester has its ups and downs, usually starting to flatten during the middle but hopefully, you ended on a high note. What can you do differently next semester to have more of an impact on your students or reduce your own stress going forward?  Debbie Morrison (2015) outlines what she believes to be the “Five Pillars of Quality Online Education.”

Take some time before the start of Spring semester to analyze your course. How do you feel about the past semester?  What would your students say about their experience in the course?  Are there things you would like to improve? What is holding you back?

The National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity offers a “Plan Handout” to get you jump started for next semester. You can also consider participating in a workshop to learn new skills to enhance your online or hybrid course. But for now, take a few days to relax and enjoy some quiet time.  Give yourself a well-deserved break so you can come back in the New Year with a renewed sense of energy and excitement to start again.

Thanks for following us, TLTech will be back again in 2017 with more tips and links to help you in your quest for successful teaching and learning with technology.

Happy Holidays

Announcements

The challenge you set for your students should focus on course content and building skill sets; it should not center around access to learning.  A great way to help your online students navigate your course material and stay on task is to use an Announcement Page.

The very first announcement your students should see on the first day of class is a Welcome.  This welcome can take the form of a letter, it could be a video of you explaining how the course works, or you could use screen captures in a video to walk students through the layout of various course components.  You should include instructions on how to get started, a photo of you (if you are not including video), and information on where to find important elements in the course.

Continue to use the announcement page weekly or more frequently if you choose to remind students of important dates or update them on assignment specifications.  This area mimics the first moments in your f2f class where you inform students of what will be expected of them in the coming week.  This small gesture goes a long way to not only direct the students and keep them organized but it will help to personalize the experience and let them know you care.

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