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Going from Face-to-face to Online Teaching

by Janice Florent

two faces looking at each other with a series gears where the brains would be

Successfully moving courses online involves more than simply transferring what you are currently doing in your face-to-face class to the online class. If your aim is to create a meaningful online learning experience with long-lasting effects, you will have to rethink the way you teach.

In a recent Faculty Focus article, Rob Kelly quoted Professor Paul Caron who said,

If you simply take your face-to-face class and put it online and teach it electronically, you will fail miserably.

Rob goes on to list some challenges with moving your course online and ways you can overcome them. They are,

Communicate frequently. The online learning environment lacks the visual and auditory cues that instructors and students often take for granted in the face-to-face classroom. This lack of visual and auditory cues can hinder the ability to develop rapport, motivate, and engage students.

Use multimedia. Multimedia can stimulate more than one sense at a time, and in doing so, may be more attention-getting and attention-holding than just using text alone. You can build a community with audio and increase your presence with video.

Monitor “attendance.” Online courses require students to be self-directed learners. If students are not accessing the course regularly and keeping up with their course work they are less likely to be successful in the course.

Make the subject relevant. One of the challenges of teaching a core course is that students aren’t automatically interested in the subject. When students see how the course is relevant to them, they stay interested. Invite guest speakers to provide career specific examples or include “real world” examples to illustrate course content. Design assignments to be flexible and allow students to pursue interests.

Rather than trying to replicate the face-to-face classroom, online, you want to design an experience that engages students in learning in a way that fosters their interest and curiosity, and ultimately facilitates deep-level learning that comes to them by way of technology. (Parker, 2013).

If this blog post has piqued your interest, you can read more in the Faculty Focus article, From F2F to Online: Getting It Right as well as the following blog posts:

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