Monday, July 25, 2011

23 Ideas for Online Instructors/Trainers

For the last few weeks I have been blogging about a my takeways from a class I am taking for my Master of Online Teaching Certificate from UIUC's online learning curicullum. As you can tell from my posting, I have learned a great deal and really enjoyed taking this course and sharing with my readers. This post will be the end all be all for the series labeled Teaching/Training with Technology. I hope you will look for my next Mini Series about Horrible Bosses as I and my summer Organizational Behavior students will have a few things to say to help educate the real time bosses who don't play the role but live the role of "boss" everyday.

The following is a list of the top 23 most important things I think online instructors need to know or learn. This list assumes that the instructor is new to online teaching as I use my own list of "wish I had knowns".

1) First, instructors need to spend some time learning how to use whatever their web tool is for online instruction (i.e. Blackboard, Moodle, & others).
2) Second, they should ask the publisher if they have a course cartridge to go along with the text they are using for the course. They may need some help importing the course cartridge and along with other development ideas over the course of their tenure.
3) Therefore, they should develop a relationship with their schools instructional IT staff that in the long run can save a lot of time and headache.
4) Once they feel comfortable with their own college's resources and have signed up for their first MCVR course they can begin to explore other technologies that you can be used to enhance their own teaching style such as the following.
5) Research what is going on live in Social Media related to the topic being taught.
6) Determine whether or not asynchronous or synchronous technology should be used in the class. Texting, Skype, Elluminate, chat rooms, and instant messaging are all examples of what can be used for the latter.
7) Surf the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (Merlot) site for implementation ideas. They have information and resources on multiple disciplines categorized for ease of use.
8) Prezi a unique way to present material which is a change from PowerPoint. However, if they are going to use PowerPoint they should really watch this video first called Death by PowerPoint. 9) Diigo a great place to store or bookmark places they may want to return to during class or as you’re developing new materials for class.
10) Jing a great place to capture screens along with your voice for presenting information or providing direction to students.
11) Camtasia Relay is another resource for doing the same as above but with more bells and whistles. Jing is free. Camtasia Relay is not.
12) Wiki's a tool for students to develop a team project synchronously or asynchronously.
13) Blogs can be used for teaching if you trust the source or you can have your students create their own.
14) PodBean is a free resource for recording podcasts for your students.
15) Online polls can be useful during class or after.
16) Consider using Zoomerang or Survey Monkey to survey students before, during, and after the class.
17) Additional considerations would involve assessment. There are a number of online resources that allow you to design very unique and interesting assessments than can keep the student involved and motivated during the course. Some examples might include: Crossword Compiler or Eclipse Crossword.
18) QuizStar is a couple online services but the publisher might have premade Quizzes already developed that can be downloaded via your course cartridge.
19) Plus many more ideas at this website.
20) Students may be asked to provide a presentation while never really using the available software.
21) Teachers should provide links to students like those available for PowerPoint.
22) Finally, if they are planning to have students write papers in their class they may want to consider using an online technology to help them understand the style (APA/MLA) that they wish the student to use. The link provided here for APA is a Web Quest.
23) Some additional things to maintain awareness about while teaching is FERPA, Copy write laws & Fair Use, and Cheating Ideas students develop that you may have never thought of.

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