What to Expect
If you are new to online instruction, this unit can provide some general information about what to expect, as well as what is expected of you as an instructor.
The following skills are essential for the online instructor:
- Teaching experience
- Solid knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject matter
- Good organizational and time-management skills
- Strong writing skills and comfort communicating in writing
- Comfort with technology
- Flexibility in teaching methods and approaches
- A willingness to be responsive to students and provide timely feedback
In general, expect an online course to take more time and energy to teach than a face-to-face course. Developing materials that are suitable for the web, and choosing the best resources to go along with those materials, can be very time consuming, especially if you are preparing to teach the course for the first time. Once the course begins, keeping up with student communication and feedback is also an on-going time demand for the online instructor.
These resources provide additional information about what you can expect as an online instructor:
- Research from the University of Central Florida - A concise overview of findings from UCF's study on faculty and students participating in online education.
- Teaching Courses Online vs Face-to-Face (Gordon-Smith, Ferguson, & Caris, 2001). Published in T.H.E. Journal online.
- Teaching an online course - the debriefing: Dr. Arsham (elearningpost.com, 2001) An interview with an instructor about his experiences with teaching online.
Tidbit: If time allows, prepare for the online course experience by shadowing another instructor who is already engaged in online teaching. This can be an excellent way to get "real-world" experience, form mentoring or collegial support relationships, and generate positive feedback for course development and improvement.
Resources Available to You
"Two heads are better than one" as the old addage goes; likewise, many of the most successful educational endeavors are collaborative efforts. You don't have to work alone and you need not reinvent the wheel; there are resources available to help you prepare for success as an instructor. Select this link to view resources...
Assessment & Evaluation
What constitutes a great online course or training program? Quality can be defined and measured; these resources provide straight-forward recipes for achieving the best possible learning environment. Select this link to learn more...