Tips for Instructors

Tips for Teaching Classes Online

Creating Videos for Teaching

This video provides some guidelines to consider when planning to create instructional videos for your students. A good first step is to curate existing videos (or other content) that may help your students meet the learning objectives rather than beginning with making content yourself, which can be time-consuming and technologically demanding. Also, bear in mind that your student will most likely experience the content you create as an individual, on a laptop or handheld device, not projected on a screen as in a movie theater. This means that expensive production values and effects are not always necessary. As long as your students can see and hear you, and the video is made accessible through captioning, you are well on your way. A simple video creation process means that you can make more videos more frequently, resulting in more dynamic and personalized content.


How to Assess Students Online

In a traditional face-to-face environment, students are assessed with what are called traditional assessments. These include tests and research papers. Alternative assessments, like portfolios or performances, are less common but can often be deployed in subjects like Art, Music or in spaces like Science Labs. Group projects and presentations can also be considered alternatives assessments. While traditional assessments like tests are often the preferred method, conferring a kind of legitimacy in certain domains that alternative assessments may not, exams can present challenges in online environments. A principal faculty concern with regard to online assessments is how the integrity of the exam can be maintained. The video How to Assess Students Online reviews the various ways online exams can be proctored and the advantages and disadvantages of exam controls.


Managing Online Discussions

A principal reason many instructors chose synchronous online environments is the real-time interaction this mode affords. Synchronous environments most closely replicate the dynamism of a face-to-face discussion. However, synchronous environments can present technical challenges for both instructors and students. As a result, many instructors choose asynchronous environments, prompting the question: how can dynamic and purposeful discussions be created and sustained? How can students be engaged with the material, with the instructor and with each other in an online discussion forum? The video Managing Online Discussions attempts to answer these questions.