Monday, November 30, 2009

Seven Suggestions for Online Professors Who Would Like to Improve Their Online Courses

I plan to modify my entire online speech course during the Winter holidays! Unfortunately, it seems that students enrolled in online courses are more likely to drop out of their course than students taking face-to-face courses (Marry, 2009). During the next few years, I would like to discover what keeps the students enrolled in online courses and what causes them to drop out.

Recently, I discovered an article by Bob Kelly (of Faculty Focus) titled "Seven Ways to Personalize Your Online Course". As the title indicates, the article offers other professors some interesting ways to personalize their courses, which may have an impact on student learning.

The author exerpts information gathered from Jane Dwyer's (a senior lecturer at Rivier College) article titled "Tips From The Pros - 7 Things to Personalize Your Online Course".

Here are the tips:
  • Sending the students an introductory letter.
  • Welcome the students to the course with a video clip.
  • Ask the students some "introductory questions" in discussion boards.
  • Create and sustain a "pet gallery", in which students can submit pictures of their pets instead of themselves.
  • Create a "bully session" which enables students to contribute likes and improvement suggestions about the course.
  • Create an environment of shared leadership, in which students will create and facilitate their own discussion questions.
  • Respond to student questions by creating and sustaining a "question forum". This enables all students to see the professor's answers to one student's question.
I am very interested to see if these techniques have an impact on student learning AND if other professors utilize the same pedagogical techniques in their online courses.

Have a great week!

J. Edwards (Millennial Professor)

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