Today, the feedback we share focuses on readers’ experiences and best practices for teaching and learning online — a topic we address frequently on the blog. We hope you’ll gain insight from their ideas, and feel inspired to share your own best practices.

Do you teach online? Would you like to discuss your thoughts or experiences? Add your comments below, or send them to thinktank@cengage.com.

 

I’ve migrated two F2F [face-to-face] classes to the online format, and I’m in the process of creating another. My basic philosophy is that students should not have MORE work to do in an online course. They are reading and understanding the materials mostly by themselves… teaching videos that supplement the text can’t really cover all the material.

–Mary Vandendorpe, Lewis University (Romeoville, IL) 

 

In constructing or building ‘sound pedagogy’ for online courses, one must consider the student body for which the construction is being built. In instructing my students through a program such as Moodle, I have found that the course construction needed to consider the makeup of the student body in addition to the topic(s) being taught. Without that consideration, the success of the course(s) are in jeopardy.

–Vincent A. Munch, Metropolitan College School of Management (New York, NY)

 

My doctoral courses were primarily online, and over time I came to love learning through the online format. The reasons went far beyond the availability and convenience. In addition to the opportunity to converse and share ideas with other students, I appreciated the frequent interaction that I had online with faculty. I had much richer faculty-student relationships through the online format than I ever experienced in my face-to-face classes in the past.

Now when I teach online, I try to make sure that I respond to as many students as possible each week regarding their posts. I don’t want to direct or interfere with the student discussions; I do want students to know that I am present in the classroom and that what they have to say matters to me. Just as I would respond to a student in a live face-to-face class, I try to respond to my students online. My responses are not necessarily lengthy or terribly in depth, but I acknowledge students’ work, suggest ideas, pose questions to stimulate thinking, and/or share experiences to enrich the conversation. I think it’s very discouraging for a student to post work in an online classroom and then receive little to no response from faculty about it. Students need to know that faculty care about the work students produce; they want to know we read their postings and that the work they are producing is valued.

–Laurie C. Blondy, PhD, JD, RN, PNP-BC, Eastern Michigan University School of Nursing (Ypsilanti, MI)