Routine Tasks for Instructor
- Check email daily.
- Respond to emails within 24 hours.
- Make presence known in all discussions and posts.
- Monitor all posts and discussions to provide guidance, insure proper use, and that students stay on topic.
- Contact individual students to check on progress, answer questions, or address concerns.
- Assess student’s work in a timely manner with appropriate feedback.
Routine Tasks for Students
- Check email daily.
- Stay active in all discussions.
- Respond to posts in a timely manner.
- Communicate professionally and responsibly.
- Turn in all assignments in a timely manner.
Classroom Building and Communication
It is crucial for a successful online classroom to have a plan for building a classroom community. Discussion begins with the instructor providing activities to encourage student involvement. There are several strategies that can be implemented to help the teacher in creating a classroom community. In order to feel comfortable in any kind of forum, students must be introduced. This is where the icebreaker activity comes in to play.
Activities for Discussion Forums
Activity “One Question” (Original)
Once a month have one student come up with and post a non-academic question that everyone must respond to. An example of a possible question could be something like, “What is the best thing you ever tasted?” or “What was the most dangerous thing you have ever done?” Each student must respond to one post and each student must receive a response. The instructor could also join in to help build the relationship between instructor and student.
Have each student go to Googlism website and type in their name. Your name will come up with neat sayings and information. For example when Melodee is typed in the results are:
melodee is told by dolores leddy
melodee is the space station coordinator
melodee is 37
melodee is located in the heart of minneapolis and services the entire twin cities of minneapolis/st
melodee is located in the heart of minneapolis and kansas music teacher association
melodee is also a highly talented stunt artist
melodee is not going away entirely
melodee is a licensed california real estate salesperson
The list goes can go on and on. Have students pick the first ten and post them then have the other students guess if any relate to their classmate. The students will then divulge if any of the information pertains to them. For example: Melodee is 37, however she is not a highly talented stunt artist.
Critical Thinking Prompts
In order for students to reach a higher level of thinking, the teacher must prompt critical thinking skills. Listed are some ways to help encourage critical thinking.
Encourage students to see the “bigger picture”
- How does this idea relate to other ideas or issues?Have students use details when posting and ask for examples.
- Can you give an example to back up your assumption?
Elaborate on ideas by asking students to clarify
- What do you mean when you say…?
- How does this relate to the bigger picture?
- What is the main point? Assert why you think that is the main point?
Ask students to evaluate their post before they post it.
Encourage students to explain their answers.
- Are there preconceptions that could sway your answer or thinking?
Management Issue and Strategies
As in a traditional classroom where management help quell discipline issues, a good management strategy can do the same for issues in an online classroom environment.
- Inappropriate language
- Lack of participation by one or more students
- “Hogging” of posts or discussions by one or more students
- Getting off topic
- Have students review the rules of Netiquette.
- Call or email a student to approach the subject of behavior or participation.
- Create a rubric for students to refer to to stay on topic.
- Instructors monitor the posts and discussion and make their presence felt by adding to the discussion.
- Instructors can get students back on topic by joining in the discussion and prompting students.
Online Discussion Rubric
Stay on topic with the content being discussed while using proper spelling and grammar. Utilized proper netiquette.
Post is meaningful and stays on topic throughout post. No spelling or grammar mistakes. Proper netiquette is exhibited.
Post is may lack some thought but mainly stays on topic. Two or fewer grammar or spelling mistakes. Proper netiquette is exhibited.
Post either lacks meanin or does not stay on topic, and /or there are three or more grammar or spelling mistakes. Or proper netiquette is not exhibited.
Respond meaningfully to at least three other posts
Three or more responses that are meaningful and stays on topic throughout post.
Three responses that are meaningful and mainly stays on topic.
Did not post three responses or three responses that either lacks meaning, or does not stay on topic.
Post and respond in a timely manner.
All Posts are turned in early or on time.
Most posts are turned in on time.
Posts are not turned in on time.