Online Learning Update

December 13, 2011

Is Your Online Class a Social Empire?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

By Michael Keathley, Best Colleges Online

The first act a Social Empires player must complete is to stake out a piece of land and fortify it with towers. Within it, homes need to be built; patches of soil planted; and mills, mines, stables, and other creature comforts added. Setting up an online learning course is similar. The instructor must carefully set up an environment that guides students carefully through the material while providing a safe context within which students can feel comfortable and able to thrive. J.V. Boettcher (2011, May) provides ten best practices that instructors should follow in building a course. In general, online faculty must realize that their own presence in the room is just as important as it is a face-to-face setting; they should be checking in on their students regularly not only to provide feedback to activities, but also just to ask how they are doing in the course. It’s helpful to do this collectively and individually. For example, I usually send individual emails to each student a few times during a course to see if they have any questions or concerns. Guideposts including self-checks should be inserted throughout the course to help students understand what to do first, next, and last within each unit and overall.

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