Written by Marshall Jones, posted to the Facebook Group: Theatre Education Distance Learning (Resource Sharing and Support Network)
I taught my first online class in 1995. I teach online and teach others to teach online. I do research in online learning. If you find yourself suddenly teaching online, here are some pro tips for you:
1. Rigor doesn’t mean massive volumes of work. Many first time online teachers add too much content and too many activities. Focus on your learning outcomes. Avoid the temptation to over build.
2. All teaching, regardless of how it is delivered is basically: present content, provide practice and feedback, assess learning. Sure, there is more, but focus on that.
3. Use tools you know. If you have video skills, great. Use them. If you have other media production skills, use them. Great. But you could do an entire online class with a word processor and email if you had to.
4. People can learn from anything. When the students is ready the teacher appears. Don’t worry so much about production values.
5. Put your online teaching on your calendar. Schedule times to do the work. Just like a face to face class.
6. Focus on your students. Encourage them. Tell them jokes. Accept assignments late. Be understanding while you hold them to high standards. These are scary times for all of us. But as teachers, we have a responsibility to make sure our students are the focus.
7. Don’t be a push over, but be nice. Help your students have a good day. Never underestimate the power of a good day.
8. Don’t over think it. You’re going to be fine.