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How to Become a Great Online Prof

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					How to Become a Great Online Prof
By Lynne K. Fukuda, DL Specialist University of Hawaii at Hilo

Qualities of a Good Online Prof:
 Are

you:

 Patient,

personable, and understanding?  Do you enjoy being online- netsurfing, e-mailing, etc.?  Do you like writing as much as speaking?  Do you like to encourage students in learning new things?  Do you like to learn new things?

Teaching Experience:
you taught for many years at a college?  Have you taught adult students?  Have you taught with multimedia such as with videos, powerpoint, overheads, and other educational tool?  Do you feel comfortable converting your present lectures into another format?
 Have

What counts most:
you are willing to learn new things  Modify your teaching style to fit new modes of delivery  Put in time to prepare and maintain your online courses  Wish to help online students in their pursuit of education “anytime, anyplace”
 If

What to expect:
Glitches will come your way in the form of computers, software, classes, and students  Miscommunication may occur  Delays in delivery and receiving assignments will occur  Bombardment of your e-mailboxes  Loss of communication due to outages, illness, no access to Internet, etc.  A lot of work initially to learn WebCT, upload, maintain


Common Problems:
many unneccessary e-mails from students  Time wasted in communicating something that could be done a a few seconds by talking  Student unable to get into website  Student neglecting class and not participating  Lectures and activities not fit mode of delivery
 Too

Problems in Discussion Groups:
 Posted

discussions are not meaningful and waste

space.  Students do not communicate effectively  Rude remarks may bring discord to classroom  Some students are chathogs- do not allow others to chat  Discussion goes off course-socializing occurs  Chatbashing- arguments in chatrooms may occur

How to improve discussions:
strict guidelines- rules for discussion group.  Give out discussion questions beforehand so students can prep  Manage the discussion by going in during discussion and directing them in the right direction  Be a facilitator and allow students to discuss freely without excessive socializing
 Have

Problems with audiovisuals:
students are unable to download streaming video or FlashMedia due to slow connection and incompatibility  Audiovisuals are not as attractive as they should be and distract from learning
 Some

Solution to audiovisual problems:
a place for students to view themuniversity center computing room,etc.  Do not invest too much in audiovisuals and make them optional  Have a teckie upload them
 Designate

How to improve presentations:
that are on PowerPoint can be enhanced with uploaded digital photos  Appropriate background instead of plain background for PowerPoint can be attractive and interesting  Make viewing easy- rule of minimums- make words big and put less materials on each slide, have main ideas/points on each slide
 Lectures

Some Pitfalls:
your WebCT classroom look like your real-life classroom  Making your PowerPoint take place of your lecture notes word for word  Making yourself a teacher instead of a facilitator  Making the student a student instead of an independent learner
 Making

Change in outlook in online learning:
virtual colleges and courses offered online have changed the roles of the student and teacher  Students are now active learners  Teachers are now facilitators
 Many

More on changes:
must take the intiative to learn independently  Students must be more responsible for deadlines, assignments, interactions with prof and classmates, and voice their concerns  Prof must be responsive to independent learners and be able to coach them in learning
 Students

What Online Profs Do:
leading students in the right direction  Design activities- discussion groups, collaborative projects, and assignments more condusive to online learning  Send out reminders for all assignments, exams, discussions, and chats  Maintain a calendar of events
 Coaching-

More on what profs do:
 Respond

in a timely manner to e-mail from

students  Have question and answer sessions or post questions and answers on message boards  Modify course for each group of students- with differing needs and directions of learning

What makes a quality class online:
convenient and meaningful  Is interesting and encouraging to every student  Is managed carefully by the prof  Builds up a collaborative and friendly environment  Allows students to grow from the online experience
 Is

What seasoned profs say:
 Students

are more vocal online, shy students speak

up  Some type better than others and are faster in chats  Discussion are more profound, writing is better  There is less discrimination among sexes, ethnicities, and other due to anonymity  There is more one-to-one interaction with students online

More on what seasoned profs say:
seem to learn more online  There is more quality writing from online students  There is more collaboration and comraderie among online classmates  Some subjects are more condusive to online learning than others (exp: English, social sciences)  There seems to be more satisfaction among students who complete the online course
 Students

Advantages of an Online Prof:
24/7 and yet still having private time  More flexible about accepting assignments  Keeping track of each student even if he or she is not on campus or in the state  Preserving lecture notes for future reference  Keeping a record of discussion – can print out chat sessions  Presentation is more interesting and meaningful
 Available

Conclusion:
are a lot of advantage to being online- as a supplement to your regular class to reach more students and be more flexible  As an online prof who has students from all walks of life and from far away places  Able to manage a course better- posting assignments, having an online calendar, having office hours online via e-mail
 There

Sources:
Chen, Director of Distance Education, UHH  April Komenaka, Professor of English, UHH  Robert Okuda, Media Coordinator, UHH Abordonado, Professor of English, HPU  Lynne Fukuda, Distance Education Specialist, UHH
 Valentina  Bill


				
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posted:10/17/2008
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