"… the online course must have a considerable amount of instructor involvement … The instructor should introduce himself or herself, distribute periodic and regular organizational e-mails, personally contact individual students, make postings to threaded discussion, participate in chats, both spoken and typed, and make short and on-target presentations—single concept lectures."
- From Designing the "Perfect" Online Course by Michael Simonson (pg. 6)
Best Practices for Online Teaching
- Complete eLearn Essential training if you’re new to online teaching.
- Add content to course from the master course or approved shell.
- Review all course materials and links from a student view. Fix or remove broken links.
- Update and post your accessible syllabus. Submit copy to department admin.
- Add your contact info and personalize your course.
- Add/update course announcements.
- Check (and update if necessary) all open, close, and due dates.
- Familiarize yourself with the weekly routine and major assignments.
- Check the grade book. Ensure all assignments are listed and organized.
- Compare your eLearn Classlist to Banner. Notify eLearn@volstate.edu of discrepancies.
- Login to the class at least 5 days each week.
- Communicate (via email, announcements, and/or discussions) to students an overview for the week.
- Post and hold online office hours using video conferencing.
- Respond to ALL email (course mail and VSCC email) within 24 to 48 hours (or sooner).
- Grade assignments promptly and provide useful feedback.
- Create and post mini-lectures (text or video based) to reinforce difficult course concepts.
- Facilitate discussion boards:
- Respond to some posts
- Correct misconceptions
- Ask probing questions
- Use the Class Engagement tool to monitor student activity. Send individual emails regularly to offer help or kudos as needed.
- Make notes about course updates that you’ve made or should make next semester. Send critical updates to the course developer immediately.
- Send a welcome email to students. Explain how to get started.
- Notify students of any exam proctoring requirements.
- Set final grade calculation to be visible (release final grades).
Week 2 & 3
- Watch for late-adds. Forward important emails to them.
- Submit Banner attendance reporting.
- Create Early Alerts for students who have not engaged in the class.
- Submit student alerts.
- Remind students of mid-term exam parameters.
- Communicate with at-risk students about withdrawal deadline.
- Remind students to complete course evaluations.
- Remind students of final exam parameters, such as proctoring and important dates.
- Send encouraging emails.
- Send a farewell email. Wish students well in their future endeavors.
- Refer to your weekly notes; notify the course developer of any changes or updates that you think would benefit the course.
- Post final grades in Banner by due date.
- If you are the course developer, update the master course using the instructor suggestions as a guide.