Below is a list of practices I would like to incorporate into future online courses in order to build a stronger learning community. This list represents practices that are currently not part of my online courses.
– Ask colleagues to test my course website prior to launch and assess ease of navigation and function of technology.
– Include ice-breaking activities beyond the basic biography forum.
– Provide students with information about institutional and other resources.
– Include a general netiquette document in the first week of the course.
– Include guidelines for participation determined by students.
– Add a social Water Cooler discussion area.
– Incorporate more opportunities for synchronous communication, including office hours.
– Use weekly videos to update students about the course.
– Incorporate a formative survey partway through each course.
– Use more Screencasts to explain difficult or visual concepts.
– Add some flexibility in assignments.
– Account for gender differences when building the course activities.
– Include guidelines for ethical standards in the course.
Blog post discussing the importance and how-to’s of instructor presence.