Pedagogy: Moving from
the classroom to the class without walls
virtual classroom is no longer a concept of the future. Right now, professors
lecture electronically to reach students not just across town, but across
the country. Students have stopped lugging textbooks and instead log into
the online library. Even working adults have found that education is no longer
confined to a place, but instead is a process that fits conveniently into
What does it take to be
a successful online professor? Many of the same qualities that it takes to
be gifted in the traditional classroom: care, patience, clarity, and ingenuity.However,
you'll need to go one step further. You'll need to translate the classroom
experience to a new medium. This means finding new ways of communicating
and building a rapport with each student. You’ll also want to encourage teamwork
and collaboration. Here are a few tips to help you build a vibrant online
continuity by answering E-mail promptly, asking open-ended questions in
bulletin board discussions, and posting to discussions frequently.
the purpose or objective of each discussion. This will help members stay
on a specific topic.
sure it is easy to identify participants. Create profiles of members that
can be found on individual Web pages. Consider uploading pictures of students
to help put faces and names together.
rules to create a friendly environment. If you notice any harsh language,
immediately send a private E-mail to the student who sent the inappropriate
experts to participate in chats and bulletin board discussions. Announce
to students when the expert will be arriving online.
- Use a calendar to post
start and end dates for specific discussion topics. If you have a scheduled
chat event, post that as an announcement and on the calendar.
- Make online discussions
a part of the student's grade. This can substitute for the usual class participation
portion of the grade. You may even consider that a certain number of postings
each week are required per student.
reflective thinking and ongoing discussions by avoiding questions that
lead to right and wrong answers.
to student postings and prompt your students to go deeper than mere opinions
or surface answers. Have students support their arguments with facts and
supportive data when available.
the physical world into the virtual one. Use graphics, sound bytes and
digital video to create a sense of "place" and to appeal to the diverse
learning styles of your students. If possible, use QuickTime VR to create
three-dimensional spaces that reflect real phenomena.
If you'd like to explore
online facilitating further, have your department chair approve your course
for the online/hybrid modality. Then contact Karen
Lundstrem and register for the online/hybrid professional development