Professional Development for Online Teachers

Professional Development for Online Teachers (Who are already busy)

Online teachers are often working with large classes or co-ordinating multiple papers.
There’s a lot to get through in a work day.

And so there’s often not a lot of time left over for professional development.

It’s not always viable to take a week off to travel to a conference to present your research.
Or to sit down and write a 3,000- 6,000 word original research paper in the first place.

For many of us, the more time intensive professional development activities have to take place over the long summer break or during sabbaticals.

The opportunity to take proper time out for extensive professional development could be months (or even years) away. What can you do in the meantime to stay current, and to demonstrate that you’re regularly working on keeping your skills and knowledge highly polished?


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E-learning Technology Problems

E-learning Technology Problems: How to Help Your Students Fix Them

E-learning technology causes headaches for many online students.

The technology issues create problems right across different student demographics.
It doesn’t matter whether the students are digital natives, or not.

Of course, you’ll need to refer most students with e-learning technology issues to the experts on the IT Helpdesk. They are, after all, trained and qualified to resolve issues with your LMS.

But depending on IT staffing levels, workload and student numbers, there may be delays in students getting their issues resolved.

And some online learning technology questions can be answered quickly by us – the online educators who work with the LMS every day, and who know our students and what they need to access.

So if your students run into the following kinds of issues, you just might be able to offer a solution yourself. And when you can, you remove another obstacle in your students’ journey towards completing your online course.


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10 Creative Student Motivation Strategies For Online Learners

Online student motivation levels vary wildly.

Some adult learners are highly focused, and move smoothy through your online course.
Others start strong, but gradually lose momentum.
And some never really engage with the online course, and don’t log in to the LMS at all.

There are many reasons for this.

They range from genuine Life Issues, to lack of time management skills.
In addition, many adult learners have a chequered educational history, and are daunted by the task in front of them.

But in online learning, the motivation to succeed primarily has to come from the student.

Even so, there’s plenty we can do as online educators to help increase levels of motivation in our adult learners.


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9 Things Online Teachers are Not

9 Things Online Teachers are Not!

Online teaching involves being many things at once.
It’s a demanding career, and we happily wear several hats – often at the same time.

On any given work day, we might be:

  • Mentors
  • Content Experts
  • Writers
  • Technology Guides
  • Assessors, and
  • Counsellors.

There are many facets to the job, and our students tend to be diverse, with a wide range of needs.

Sometimes this leads to unrealistic expectations.
So if you find yourself about to play a role you never signed up for, maybe it’s time to stop for a second, and double check your job description…


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10 Yoda Quotes We Can Apply to Online Teaching

10 Yoda Quotes We Can Apply to Online Teaching

How could quotes from Yoda possibly apply to online teaching?
Isn’t Yoda the little green creature in Star Wars?

Doesn’t all the action happen in a galaxy far, far away?

Well, yes.

But Yoda is also a master teacher.
He trained those Jedi knights for 800 years.
His comments are part pedagogy, and part philosophy.
They’re worth looking at a little more closely, because they can be applied to our discipline too…


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How to Make a Delicious Feedback Sandwich for Online Students

Providing feedback to online students is a complex process.
There’s a bit of an art to it.
The independent nature of online learning means that students can be more sensitive to having their work critiqued.

While there are ways of increasing online student resilience, it’s also helpful to focus on your methods of giving feedback.

The feedback sandwich is a classic approach to grading online student work.

It’s a classic because it’s simple and it works


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How to Handle Teaching Large Online Classes

How to Handle Teaching Large Online Classes (8 Simple Tips)

Many online teachers struggle to cope with large online classes.

Online teaching is already challenging enough.
But when your student numbers feel like they’re starting to approach the population of a small country, it’s hard not to panic.

Most of us just sigh, stir our 8th cup of coffee, cancel our weekend plans (again) and get on with it.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are specific ways to get your workload under control, do your job well – and not burn out.

I often teach over 200 students at a time, in rolling class intakes that overlap throughout the calendar year. I found out through hard experience that there’s a right way, and a wrong way to manage large online classes…


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Start the Semester Right A Time-Saving Checklist for Online Teachers

Start a New Semester Right With This Online Teacher Checklist

An online teacher checklist can help speed up your preparation time for a new semester.

Because the new semester always arrives just a little faster than you expected. Before you know it, it’s almost time to jump back into teaching online.

So it helps to have an online teacher checklist to help your preparation go smoothly. This makes sure you start off on the right foot and set things up for a successful semester – for you AND your students…


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Failing Student Work How To Do it Gently

Failing Student Work: How To Do it Gently

Sometimes student work simply won’t earn a passing grade.

There are many reasons for this outcome.
Perhaps the student has:

  • Not answered the assignment question
  • Presented an unconvincing argument
  • Plagiarised published work or another student’s assignment
  • Gone way over (or under) the word count, or
  • Not included sources to back key points.

As online educators, we see many problems with student assignments.
And if assessable student work is not up to standard, unfortunately it will fail…


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Online Student Success 30 Ways to Help Make it Happen

Online Student Success: 30 Ways to Help Make it Happen

Online student success starts with learners being self-motivated and organised.
Much of the energy and commitment must come from them.

But online educators also have an important role to play.

Even though we’re often not interacting with students directly in a face to face setting, there’s still plenty of ways in which we can positively influence student outcomes.

Here are 30 ideas you can apply today to increase your students’ chances of mastering new skills, learning new knowledge, and successfully completing your online course.


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