BEST PRACTICES FOR TEACHING ONLINE

 

Checklist Notes and Suggestions

 

Course Information

Syllabus is complete and easily located.

eCampus tutorial is included.

Self introduction is included.

 

Course includes instructor welcome

Students are asked to introduce themselves.

In this discussion forum, students should introduce themselves to the class. They should provide:

  • Where they are from
  • Their occupation
  • A little information on their family
  • Their hobbies
  • What makes them unique
  • A photo of themselves and/or their family

Students should feel free to respond to their classmates.

Learning objectives are clearly stated.

 

Learning objectives need to be both measurable and precise. Avoid terms that are open to interpretation (e.g. understand, learn, or know). These terms are not measurable. An instructor cannot create an assessment that will enable them to observe or evaluate that the student "understands" the concept. The following example will help to clarify:

  • Understand the Civil War
  • Describe the impact of the Civil War on the Southern economy

In the first example, what kind of assessment would enable you to evaluate or observe that your students understand the Civil War. The term, "understand" is vague and cannot be objectively assessed. In the second example, the instructor can evaluate or observe that the student is able to "describe the impact."

 

Course communication instructions/guidelines are clearly stated.

 
  1. Instructor indicates how students are to communicate (eCampus or Mix)
  2. Instructor includes response time for e-mail/graded assignments
  3. Regular office hours are scheduled (virtual classroom, e-mail, phone)

Policies are clearly stated.

 

Academic Integrity

The integrity of the classes offered by any academic institution solidifies the foundation of its mission and cannot be sacrificed to expediency, ignorance, or blatant fraud. Therefore, I will enforce rigorous standards of academic integrity in all aspects and assignments of this course. For the detailed policy of West Virginia University regarding the definitions of acts considered to fall under academic dishonesty and possible ensuing sanctions, please see the Student Conduct Code at http://studentconduct.wvu.edu/policies-and-procedures. Should you have any questions about possibly improper research citations or references, or any other activity that may be interpreted as an attempt at academic dishonesty, please see me before the assignment is due to discuss the matter.


Sample Academic Integrity Statement

Grading Policy

All course requirements must be completed before a grade is assigned.

 

Components of Evaluation (Discussions/Assignments/Quizzes)

Item Points Due Date
Item #1 Title
Item #2 Title
Item #3 Title
Weekly Discussion (15)
Item #5 Title

*Please see the requirements for the specific Assignments on Blackboard.

 
Grading Scale
100-90 A
89-80 B
79-70 C
69-60 D
59-0 F

Inclusivity Statement

The West Virginia University community is committed to creating and fostering a positive learning and working environment based on open communication, mutual respect, and inclusion.

 

Source

Internet Etiquette

  • Never type in ALL CAPS, because it reads as if you ARE SHOUTING AT PEOPLE.
  • Act as professionally, via your writing, as you would in a face to face classroom.
  • Refrain from inappropriate language and derogatory or personal attacks.
  • Do not dominate any discussion. Give other students the opportunity to join in the discussion.
  • Disagree with ideas, but avoid challenges that may be interpreted as a personal attack.
  • Check that you are replying to the specific person you intend, and not to the entire class.
  • Never give your password to another person.
  • Respect the virtual classroom. Never forward in-class communications or posts by others outside of this virtual space.
  • Never spam your classmates.
  • If you quote someone's previous post, only quote enough to make your point.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for feedback.

Late/Make-up Work Policy

All assignments must be finished and turned in to complete the course. Unless the instructor is notified BEFORE the assignment is due and provides an opportunity for the student to submit his/her assignment late, points may be taken off for a late assignment.

Directions for assignments are clear and easy to understand.

 

An effective assignment description contains as much detail as is necessary to communicate to students the assignment's purpose, outlines the steps students must take to achieve goals, and should be written clearly in the students' perspective.

 

Course Design/Organization

Navigation is intuitive making the course easy to navigate.

Course structure is clear and understandable. Content is organized by modules or units.

 

Modules

 

Course Structure is clear and understandable. Content is organized in modules or units.

Content is appropriate for student learning of course objectives and meets credit hour standards.

Communication/Collaboration tools are incorporated in the course.

Rubrics with points and guidelines are attached to each assignment/discussion.

 

Interaction and Collaboration

Student participation requirements/expectations are clearly stated.

 

The instructor should state his/her expectations about students' participation and how to interact with classmates.

 

Example - Preparation for class means reading the assigned readings and reviewing all information required for that week. Attendance in an online course means logging into eCampus on a regular basis and participating in the activities that are posted in the course.

Send weekly announcements/reminders.

 

Announcements

Instructor email response time and feedback on assignments is clearly stated.

 

Feedback Response Time

I will generally reply to email and discussion posts within 48 hours, except during holidays. Often I will reply much more quickly. Please plan accordingly so that you don’t miss deadlines!

I generally return assignments within one week of when a discussion or assignment closes. If you would like to chat or get help on an assignment ahead of the deadline, please email me! I am happy to give preliminary feedback or answer questions.

Discussion posts are a required component of the online course.

 

In your course, the discussions create an active learning environment that provides a good interaction between the students and instructor. Also, the group tasks will be an opportunity for the students to interact.

Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support learning.

 

Discussion Example

The readings approach literature and the reading process as "exploration", which mostly emphasizes the interaction of the reader with the content. How does this view of reading relate to the cognitive processes of reading and schemata theory? And to meaning construction? What is the role of the author in the process of this “exploratory responsive reading” and the reader-text relationship? Should a reader think about the author being engaged in aesthetic reading? Students should feel free to respond to their classmates.

Group work Example

Please read over the two short stories we passed out in class last week. Consider the text YOU create as you read each one. Describe how you think your interpretive text may be different than the text someone would have composed who came from the cultures in which the stories were written. What inferences did you make that were culturally-specific to your experiences that may be different from the norms of Russia or Antigua? How did you repair any misunderstandings or uncertainty? Create a Journal with your group and discuss the difference in personal interpretations.

Research Brief Example

Create a representation that effectively captures the book reading. The focus can be on 1) the main ideas of the reading, 2) the structure of the reading, 3) your interaction with the reading, or some other significant aspect of the reading experience. The purpose of this assignment is to reflect upon the text-based features and personal resources that contributed to your meaning-making process. Research briefs will be required every other week. You will turn in your paper and get feedback from it until you refine it and turn in your final paper.

 

Effective Use of Course Technology

Course makes effective use of online instructional tools.

 

This course provides easy access to the invaluable learning tools used to engage students into assignments, encouraging them to participate in different activities to enhance the learning process.

Course materials are presented using appropriate formats compatible across computer platform (pdf, rtf, mp3, etc.).

 
Audio materials (mp3, wav, etc.) are accompanied by a transcript.
Videos are closed-captioned.

 

Appropriate Security Measures

Copyright Course Materials

Exams are composed of question pools to ensure students have equivalent but different online tests. (select 25 questions from a pool of 100 questions).

Questions are delivered in a randomized order.

 

Randomize Questions

Questions are delivered one at a time.

Time limitations are placed on exams.

 
(1 minutes per question = 25 question quiz should be timed at 25 minutes).
Setting Test Options (Timer for Test)

Respondus Lockdown browser is used.

Students cannot backtrack.

 

On your test, select "Edit the Test options".

 

Edit Test Options

Go to the bottom of the page on "Test Presentation" and select the option "Prohibit Backtracking".

 

Test Presentation

 

eCampus Settings

Delete anonymous discussion posts that rolled from the previous semester.

 

Delete anonymous discussion posts

 

Test Presentation

Set permissions so students can see images and videos.

Update dates for assignments, discussions and assessments so they don’t appear as past due.

 

Edit the properties of your assignment, assessment or discussion and look for the "Due Date" settings.

 

Due Date

Choose between course messages or external e-mail and be sure the link is active.

Make sure your menu is logical (easy to navigate) and the labels correspond with the content area. Remove duplicate labels in the navigation menu.

eCampus Resources.