When I began teaching online twelve years ago, many of my colleagues admonished me for buying into a “fad” that may soon pass. Having taught face to face for over a decade, I was nervous about leaving the ground. Composition instruction required that I build trust with student authors, and I was anxious that if I could not hold eye contact, I could not connect with my adult students.
Every single thing that we do in our traditional brick and mortar classrooms can be replicated in an online setting! Including eye contact (I host video conferences with my students constantly). Here’s the tips and open source content that that can help new online teachers feel comfortable in the virtual classroom.
1. Open source materials are available for your use, and educators can find text books, banks of questions, resources, a sample syllabus to use as a model, and other materials that you can embed in your classroom and use with students.
2. Open Educational Resources (OER) include materials to support justice in education, leadership assessment, and continuous improvement frameworks to support educational research and equity issues in higher education.
3. Rubrics and Faculty-Led Assessment from the Lumina Foundation includes the VALUE rubrics that can be used to assess student writing and other cognitive domains. Not having to build assessment tools from scratch can save time.
4. Online Course Platforms can be confusing, and most of you who work for a university will have a platform that is used across your institution. If you’d like to build a stand alone course to use outside of a university setting, BlackBoard provide up to five free classes per instructor in CourseSites. For those who looking to monetize your classroom, Udemy has an amazing array of offerings for students.