Online Teaching Tip #12 – Create Mystery

Why are all these people (even kids) lying across the railroad tracks? A death wish? No. You'd observe the presence of the kids and the number of people, then you'd rule that out. It's warm? Nope. They are trying to hear when the train will be … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #11 – Why Formatting Matters

We have all changed. How? We who were readers have become scanners. That means we must write our emails, not to readers, but to scanners. Here are three tips for formatting your course communications so that your students get what they need to … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #10 – Why Subject Lines Matter

All of us get overwhelmed by our inboxes. This semester, you alone will likely send between 12 and 20 emails to your entire class. Just the sheer volume of email means that your communications have to stand out from the rest. The best way to do this … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #9 – Introductions and Icebreakers

Introductions and icebreakers are a proven way to inject the personal element into your online course, connect students with one another, and for you to get to know the personalities of your students. Done well,  you can make introductions more than … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #8 – Communication Expectations

In the traditional face-to-face classroom most of the communication is one-to-many, teacher to a group of students via lecture. This is an efficient a method of communicating content and dealing with course administration. In the online classroom, we … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #7 – Trade Your Teaching Time

Maybe the biggest shift in going from the face-to-face setting to teaching in the online setting is that we no longer have a place and time where we show up to do the work of teaching. With that, our role changes from the up-in-front teacher to … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #6 – Keep the Important at the Top

The top of your course site is your most valuable real estate. Course web pages tend to fill with content quickly, requiring students to scroll to find content. Because of this important course information can get buried in a sea of links. So, you … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #5 – First Contact

This morning I asked our lead LMS (Learning Management System) administrator what tip he would give to teachers and professors as they start up a new semester. He said, "Communicate, communicate, communicate." I asked if he would get a bit more … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #4 – Know Your Students

My first year teaching I did something that could be described as neurotic, but was genius. I can take credit for the neurotic part but not the genius piece. I remembered that my late wife, Angela, had brought home some yearbooks the summer before … [Continue reading]

Online Teaching Tip #3 – Find Your Megaphone

One mistake I regret from my early years of teaching online was using too many modes of communication. We have so many communication tools at our fingertips: email, gradebook comments, threaded discussions, facebook, skype, news forums, twitter, text … [Continue reading]