Launching an Online Learning Experience

May 19, 2011 tinkisamy

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When launching an online learning experience it is important to start at the beginning. Each student needs to experience a comfortable, trusting, and encouraging atmosphere. This is why setting up this environment will enable open communication and a smooth beginning. The instructor needs to have a good grasp on the material, objectives, and desired learning.

What is the significance of knowing the technology available to you?

In regard to technology the instructor needs to be comfortable with the technology that will be used in the course as well as any technology tools they will be personally using. The instructor needs to make sure that they are familiar with the course management system (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). They need to know the ins and outs and how to navigate effectively and efficiently. This will make any transitions for the students easier as well. They will be able to quickly address any issues the students may have in adjusting to the management system and various aspects. The instructor also needs to make sure they know of the various ways students can collaborate and work together. This means there needs to be a familiarity with blogs, wikis, social networking sites, and the need to continue finding new technology to add to resources for the use in the classroom.

Why is it essential to communicate clear expectations to learners?

The students needs to know your expectations up front so that they have a reference point to what they need to do. They need to know what they will be doing in the course and what they can expect to learn. If the expectations are given at the very beginning of the course they can be referred back to if there are any questions. If they have not been determined it is easy to have confusion and then in turn lack of trust and disappointment. In your expectations you will include the course elements, requirements for discussions and discussion posts, rubrics for assignments, a syllabus, class schedule, and any project/application expectations. The students also need to know your policy on late work and any exceptions.

What additional considerations should the instructor take into account when setting up an online learning experience?

The instructor needs to take into consideration any multicultural issue as well as flexibility for any student issue that may occur. This is why getting to know the learners in the first few weeks is so important. The learner needs to be comfortable with the instructor on a level where there is professionalism but also a human connection (Palloff, 2010).

For me, implementing effective online instruction in the future would consist of making sure I have everything sorted out and ready before the course begins. I need to check for the course overview and introduction, learning objectives and outcomes, assessment and measurement, resources and materials, ways for learner interaction, the various course technologies used, ways to support each learner, and make accessibility to the course management system and to me, as the instructor, as easy as possible. (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).

Resources:

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Brain, M. (n.d). How blogs work. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/social-networking/information/blog3.htm

Palloff, R.(2010) Launching the online learning experience. Video Media.

Wikispaces. Retrieved May 19, 201l, from http://www.wikispaces.com/

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