As an educator, I care about my students – all of them. Even the students who challenge me and occasionally cause me to walk away from my laptop for a short break. I believe it stems from my belief in the potential that every student has to learn, even if students do not learn at the same pace or comprehend the course topics at the same time. Most of the classes that I have taught have been online, and I have enjoyed teaching in a virtual learning environment – even though it was challenging at first when I could not see the students like I could when I was teaching in a traditional classroom. Over time I developed an ability to tell when students are engaged in the class and when students are slowly starting to disengage. I know that some form of outreach is needed when students are...Continue reading »
It would seem that students should want the help of their instructors, especially when they are struggling with course topics, assignments, and meeting deadlines. But the reality is that this is not usually the case and as most educators know, students may even resist the very idea of asking for help and prefer to give up when faced with a challenge. This can occur even when an instructor has done everything possible to encourage students to speak up. For example, I have observed many online classes where instructors created optimal classroom conditions that were conducive for productive exchanges, similar to what I have done within my own online classes, and students still would not ask for help – even when their grades were declining.
I have studied adult education and one of...Continue reading »
I have written numerous articles about best practices for educators to use when teaching adult students, and I have enjoyed conversations that have begun as a result of comments posted. Several of the comments that have been written in response to my articles have discussed aspects of higher education that seem to be broken or in need of repair. I understand those perspectives and I have respect for anyone who wants to discuss important issues in this field. For example, I have read many articles recently about adjuncts, especially online adjuncts, related to issues concerning pay, course size, and job security. I know that the for-profit online school industry has come under great scrutiny. In contrast, there is a non-profit online school that is gaining popularity by offering...Continue reading »
When you see a new class of students for the first time, or interact with a group of online students for the very first time, what is your initial feeling about your students? Do you consider the expectations of these students, or are you more focused on helping them become acclimated to the class? What are your hopes for your students? I understand that on the first day of class there is a lot to accomplish from a procedural perspective; however, do you consider the point of view of your students and what they might be thinking as they first interact with you and others in the class?
When I am assigned a new online and it is the first day, even after working in the field of distance learning for over eleven years, I still think about the hopes that students hold for their...Continue reading »
If you were to ask an instructor which students in a particular class were likely to fail, the easiest indicator would be grades as that presents evidence of students who are not making significant progress. As most educators know, grades present only one aspect of the learning process and it is still possible that any student can be at risk for failure – even those students who are peak performers. While some students can excel, regardless of classroom conditions, most experience fluctuations in their performance throughout their academic journey. Every student presents an instructor with an opportunity to have a direct impact on their ongoing development, especially if they are aware of the risk factors present at every level of performance.
I have been actively involved in...Continue reading »
Looking for a new job, and developing long-term career prospects, is vastly different than it was even a few years ago – and one of the most important driving factors is the increased reliance upon online application forms and professional social networking websites. Consider the process of applying for a job as it used to be and how it is now. It seems that the time when you would print out a resume copy and mail it to a potential employer is long gone, or is at least a very rare occurrence, and that is largely due to the use of electronic submissions and the potential to apply for some positions by email.
Along with these changes in the method of submitting a resume are strategies used by employers to investigate potential new hires. It is very common now for employers to...Continue reading »
A new year brings about a sense of a new beginning for many people, as it can feel like an opportunity to create a fresh start. It is during this time that new goals are formed, often related to health and fitness. The start of a new year also serves as a time to consider developing or renewing career goals. Now is the optimal point to examine what you have done to move forward with your career plans and develop momentum, especially if you believe you will be starting or continuing a job search.
Most job fields are highly competitive and that usually means there will be a large number of applicants applying for job postings. Even if there are only a handful of applicants, you still must stand out in a positive manner if you are going to increase the likelihood that a potential...Continue reading »
Are you interested in becoming an online instructor?
Are you just beginning your career as an online instructor?
Or would you like to advance your current online teaching practice?
If so, there is a brand new program that has been developed by The Center for Advanced Professional Development. This was created by Dr. Bruce A. Johnson, who has extensive experience with online teaching, course development and curriculum design, along with faculty development experience.
There are many resources available for online instructors but there is one place where you can find classes that will provide what you need for your professional development: The Center for Advanced Professional Development.
Professional development is an important aspect of a person's...Continue reading »
Would You Like to Learn Advanced Online Teaching Strategies?
Have you taught online courses and wanted to develop your online teaching skills further?
This course provides the professional development you need to be a successful online instructor. This course is the study of online teaching practices for instructors who have experience with the facilitation of online classes, from beginning to advanced experience.
This course presents advanced teaching strategies that will enhance any online instructor's practice and help to create the development of conditions that promote learning in the classroom. One of the important aspects of this course is the application of the topics to practical classroom facilitation. This is a...Continue reading »
Would You Like to Learn to Learn How to Take the Distance Out of Distance Learning?
This is a unique course that is based upon Dr. J's dissertation study and research. Dr. J developed Appreciative Andragogy during his doctoral studies, with his intention of creating a new instructional strategy for online teaching. The phrase Appreciative Andragogy is a combination of Appreciative Inquiry (an organizational developmental strategy) and Andragogy (the principle of teaching adults). The result of Dr. J's work was a dissertation and research study titled, Appreciative Andragogy: Taking the Distance Out of Distance Learning. The findings of the research study were published in the Online Learning journal,...Continue reading »