Top 5 Tips for Teaching Well Online

Please help us in welcoming back Lisa Dubuc of Niagara County Community College (SUNY) for another guest post! Lisa is one of the presenters from our wildly popular Face-to-Face, Blended and Online Teaching and Learning Innovator Series. The series might be over but the recorded sessions are available on our website and there are still plenty of issues to explore through blog posts. Take it away Lisa.

Today I want to share my top strategies for teaching well online and bridging the gap between teaching face-to-face and online:

  1. Make sure you are “present in your course.” My students never feel isolated or wonder, “Where in the world is my professor?” I’m there via webcam, narrated screencasts, communications from the LMS, and provide individualized support when my students need it.
  2. You have to set the tone in your course and provide the framework for them to build class community. I do that with tools mentioned in my last guest post: Top 6 Online Tools to Help Online Students Feel Connected . You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Don’t attempt to do that with static text and an old picture of yourself.
  3. I never start a Monday without communicating with my students. Even if it’s just a simple message that says I hope you had a nice weekend. I usually send it along with a reminder of what needs to be done this week. Yes, it’s listed in my “What’s on Tap document” in each learning module, but I stay in contact with them, send reminders, and never let them forget my course. My students are mostly first year community college students just out of high school. They need the reminders!
  4. Interject some humor in your interactions or videos so they get a feel for the “real” you. Your on-campus students can see your body language and hear your tone. My students in both classes know I’m a smiley person with a dry sense of humor. That is difficult to do in text.
  5. And finally, never end a week without telling them to have a nice weekend.

If you have questions, comments, or would like to learn more about Teaching Well Online & the NCCC recipe of success, please check out my blog. You can also subscribe to my posts and follow me on Twitter. My blog and tweets are devoted to learning innovation and Teaching Well Online.

Lisa Dubuchas been working at SUNY-Niagara County Community College as the Coordinator of Electronic Learning and a Digital Media Instructor for the past 12 years. Within her role she serves as an instructional designer for online and blended courses. She has taught online and on campus at both the undergraduate and graduate level and has trained faculty around the SUNY system on how to teach online. She has co-created over 100 online and blended courses in a variety of disciplines. She is also a recent recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

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