A Call to Action: Help Learners Nurture Positive Beliefs to Become Successful
November 14, 20200

Our country has been in turmoil. People have been taught, and continue to be taught, to see differences and evaluate each other based upon what side they are on or support. The weight of the many issues faced by society as a whole is being felt by everyone. This is in addition to the pandemic which is not just going away, it is intensifying. There's no one left untouched by the impact of what has occurred this year.

As an educator, I'm witnessing first-hand the effect of these many issues and challenges on the students I teach within online classes. Before this year occurred, the typical academic-related challenges may have been related to preparedness to learn in a virtual environment, motivation to complete required tasks while holding other responsibilities, and successfully...

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Do End of Course Evaluations Reflect Your Classroom Performance Accurately?
September 13, 20200

What is your belief about the end of course evaluation? Do you believe it accurately reflects your performance in the classroom? Do you live in fear of the outcome you'll receive, as to your standing with the school you teach for now? Do you focus on the potential outcome of the evaluation, and do everything you can to ensure your learners are satisfied with the course, even if it means becoming more lenient than you might naturally be?

Those of us teaching for online schools know the weight these evaluations hold for determination of the future of our positions. The online school I work for takes these evaluations very seriously, and yet, there is a holistic view taken and that means all factors of performance are weighed in. The reason why is there are typically only a few...

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Learn How to Become Visible and Accessible in a Virtual Classroom
August 15, 20200

Do you feel adequately prepared to teach as an online instructor? Are you easily accessible and available for your learners? Do learners perceive you as being visible and uniquely identifiable as their instructor?

One of the challenges higher education has faced recently is providing quality education via a virtual classroom environment, especially for classes not normally assigned to be taught remotely. Even for experienced online instructors, there are inherent challenges that are based upon the nature of working in this manner and will always be present, requiring dedication and time to address. One of the most pressing challenges is becoming a real person to learners, someone who is visible and available to address their needs, and more importantly, accessible when needed to...

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Discover How to Become an Emotionally Intelligent Educator
July 05, 20200

"You cannot interact with students and be devoid of emotions." – Dr. Bruce A. Johnson

Emotions are present in every aspect of our communication, whether or not we are aware of the existence of it. For example, you are having an emotional reaction right now as you read this opening introduction.

You either feel a sense of connection to what you are reading, and want to continue, or you believe you already know enough about the subject and feel it would not be worth your time to continue.

When I refer to having emotions present with all communication, both written and spoken, it does not mean you are having an extreme emotional reaction. Rather it means you are reacting in a particular manner about what it is you are feeling or hearing, and you are...

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Discover Why Failure Is Essential for Learning and Growth
May 31, 20200

Students fear failure. It's not just a failing grade many students fear; it can be the fear of not receiving a perfect score each week for all required learning activities. I've worked with many doctoral learners who earn less than 100 points for their discussion posts in a previous week and believe they have failed. All they can focus on is the loss of points, even if it just six or eight points. The same holds true for written assignments. A less than perfect grade somehow indicates failure because "they have worked really hard", "put a lot of effort into the assignment", and "should be awarded full points". Some learners may believe I have somehow been excessively critical or nit-picking with my feedback, when it did not meet their expectations.

I attempt to change the...

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Online Teaching Best Practices for a New Normal in Higher Education
May 17, 20200

With little advance warning, and time to prepare, the field of higher education rapidly transformed this year and almost all classes had to move to a virtual learning environment. To the surprise of some instructors and students, it was discovered learning could actually occur within this environment and academic rigor be upheld in the same manner as traditional classes, that is once instructors were able to overcome the initial learning curve. Making the transition from face-to-face teaching to online teaching is not an easy one, until you've taught a few classes and developed a teaching style.

Then there are those instructors and students who have already been familiar with this type of learning platform and did not have an initial adjustment period. There are online schools...

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