Teaching Online?

Teaching online for the first time?

"There is a myth that has existed in the world of online teaching since it began. The myth asserts that it is easy to teach online--all one needs to do is to move exactly what was being done in the face-to-face classroom into the online classroom. Technologies such as lecture capture video and PowerPoint have made it easy for an instructor to lecture online, and simply writing up and posting assignments by copying and pasting into the course management system in use is not difficult. But can this be considered good instruction online?"

from The Excellent Online Instructor (R. Palloff and K. Pratt)

What's Involved?

Many faculty at SPS are teaching online for the first time, while others are considering the possibility. If you're one of these instructors, consider adopting the following recommended best practices in order to ensure teaching online is as rewarding for you as it can be:

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Time Commitment

Teaching online will typically require more time than teaching face-to-face. This may be spent preparing course site content, one-on-one communication, and responding to discussion boards. SPS has many convenient tools that will make this work more efficient. To enhance your teaching experience, manage time spent in the course site and make the most of the tools available.

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Academic Technology

Understanding the basics of email, discussion boards, and PowerPoint are necessary. It’s important to have proficiency in Zoom, our meeting software, and Canvas, our learning management system. Panopto, our lecture capture software, allows you to present and record elements of your synchronous lecture ahead of time. It's helpful to be able to troubleshoot basic computer and internet connectivity issues.

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Student Engagement

As an online instructor, you may never meet students face-to-face. Take time to cultivate an online presence so students can get to know you. Be thoughtful responding to emails and discussion board posts. Review our Checklist for Facilitating Your Course for managerial, social and pedagogical best practices. Finally, review SPS policies surrounding faculty-student communication.

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Training and Support

SPS provides various types of support and guidance for faculty. You can sign up for a technology training with the Online Support team, or join a bi-weekly Teaching Forum offered by Faculty Development and Assessment. Also, consider taking the APPQMR Workshop or the Online Teaching Bootcamp, offered regularly by the Online Curriculum & Instruction team. For urgent matters, contact the CUSPS Helpdesk.

Contact Online Support

The Online Support team can help you prepare to teach online, provide tips and best practices, and/or refer you to additional resources. Contact the CUSPS Helpdesk for assistance.