Applying Learning Science in Online Classes by Flower Darby with James M. Lang. I read James Lang’s book called Small Teaching first, and I’m glad I did because this book refers back to much of his science and research in that book.
Because I have been teaching online for about 18 years, I learned that my instincts are good. So many of the things I have been doing were reinforced here with good solid research from Darby and Lang.
I have been using short videos doing welcome and wrap ups of each week for awhile now and they concluded this is a great technique to keep people online engaged. Online is a strange place in many ways because you can’t “see” how engaged a person is. So you have to create activities and use techniques to keep people engaged.
Holding office hours and finding ways for people to be able to reach me quickly is another tip I share with others. I now offer “office hours” regularly via zoom AND give people my online scheduler for 15 minute appointments if the office hours don’t work for them.
The key is to also think about offering multiple ways for people to engage, whether it is via a group discussion, paper sent only to me, video, screen-captures, whatever works for them. Be creative!
If you teach online or are thinking about teaching online, get this book and devour it. Take lots of notes because it was helpful to me as a seasoned online person but it will be chock-a-block full of tips for newbies.
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