You Can't Get to the Pinnacle in Life If You're Stuck at the Bottom
October 11, 20210

"You're aware of the limits of time. There's a fixed number of hours and time continues no matter what you're doing. You can be lost in reflection of what was and could have been, never to regain that time, or you can look ahead and plan for a better future. It's up to you." – Dr. Bruce A. Johnson

I wrote this recently for one of my daily inspirational messages. I have made this a daily practice, as part of starting my day with reflection, allowing myself to become emotionally grounded and my thoughts focused before I plug into technology and begin work. The reason I wrote it was simple, I'm reaching a milestone birthday this year and it has prompted a great deal of reflection, almost to the point at time I find myself thinking too much about the past and taking a proverbial...

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Do End of Course Evaluations Reflect Your Classroom Performance Accurately?
October 11, 20210

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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How to Design the Life You Want, One Dream at a Time
October 01, 20210

If you want to change some aspect of your life, do you rely upon the development of goals to make those improvements? Or do you allow yourself to dream and wish for a better future?

When you establish a goal, you understand the purpose is to create an outline for something specific, often with a targeted date determined as part of the plan. In contrast, dreams can be more elusive and unclear, as the details may be vague and the timeframe for development of the ideas is most likely unknown. While goals are based in reality, or the here and now, a dream is thought of being out "there" somewhere, in a undefined place in time.

Since goals are based in reality, it's possible to feel limited in scope, as to how far you'll stretch your ideas when thinking about the long-term....

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6 Critical Best Practices for Online Teaching: Be Prepared
August 11, 20210

We live in an unprecedented time with higher education being disrupted, as traditional classes are being moved online, at least for the time being. Whether or not this will continue for any length of time remains to be seen. This has occurred at an interesting time for the field of distance learning as many of the for-profit schools have closed, and the growth of new online schools has slowed. The number of online schools growing is limited, and competition comes from traditional schools offering online classes.

With a move of traditional classes to an online platform, there is a challenge for many educators to adapt to a virtual environment. Those educators who teach in this environment already, such as myself, are already accustomed to creating a virtual presence. However,...

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Here's Why Students Need Intellectual Curiosity to Learn
July 22, 20210

What causes a student to want to learn? Is it the same reason why students want to seek out course-specific knowledge?

The standard formula in higher education is to add students and an instructor to a pre-built curriculum, and the result is the creation of a learning environment. To bridge the gap between students and the learning process are planned activities, along with resources to help students engage with the activities. But intellectual curiosity, a process which cannot be controlled, is either inherent or prompted by completion of planned activities or involvement of an instructor.

Learning within a formal classroom environment can be an intellectual activity. When the intellect of a student is engaged, cognition is elevated from automatic thinking to higher...

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Discover Why Kindness Is a Vital Online Teaching Characteristic
July 11, 20210

When you think about what it takes to be an effective online instructor, you may consider how to efficiently complete the many duties required each week. This would be a normal response as the online instructor is task-driven. From a purely classroom management perspective, there are always questions to answer, papers to evaluate, discussions to be involved in, timelines to meet, and so. Beyond the typical duties, an instructor will find themselves nurturing the developmental learning abilities of their students, and stimulate their intellectual curiosity. To be highly effective in the online environment, the instructor must have basic qualities, such as empathy and emotional intelligence. These are the qualities that are responsible for helping an instructor respond to conditions in...

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Discover 5 Essential Learner-Centered Strategies For Online Instructors
July 11, 20210

Why do you aspire to teach, or continue to teach, online classes? This is a question I have been asking myself for over a decade now, and I use it as a means of self-reflection, to determine if I am growing and adapting as the needs of learners are changing. What I've found is the technology has certainly changed, and the tools within the classroom have also changed, but there are some basic learner needs that have remained unchanged. For example, learners need to know their online instructor is present and engaged in the class, and easily accessible. This should be a simple requirement to meet, and yet I know of many instructors who check into their classes only when needed, making their job a series of rote functions. Do you believe learners notice this disposition? You can be...

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Discover How to Engage Your Students in an Active Learning Process
June 11, 20210

Your students come to class or log onto an online platform and complete required tasks, which must mean to some degree they are interested in learning. Somehow, through class lectures or informative posts an educator has taken time to develop, these students will acquire knowledge they need, and through the activities designed to ensure they take the time to read and apply what has been read, they will meet the required outcomes. That's the plan when a course is designed and implemented.

But the reality is many students are going through the motions of repetitive, reactively responding to the course materials and activities they are required to complete. If it is a class discussion, their response may be based upon a world view held now, which is closely protected and rarely...

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Discover Why Learning Requires Interactions, and an Instructor
May 22, 20210

The field of distance learning continues to evolve, not just from a technological perspective, but also by the mode of delivery for online classes. When this field was first developing in the early 2000s for higher education, one of the primary concerns was related to the ability of this form of teaching to replicate traditional classroom learning.

Over time most online schools included some form of instructor-to-student interaction as part of the curriculum, typically through asynchronous discussions, thereby making it possible for students to still experience many similar elements of a traditional classroom. If there were still any lingering doubts left today about an ability to learn effectively in a virtual environment, the pandemic has helped to eliminate them. 

Now...

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Discover Why Self-Fulfillment Begins with You, Not a Job
May 11, 20210

When you wake up in the morning, do you immediately believe this is going to be a rewarding day? Do you look forward to what's ahead and know you will be able to feel good, regardless of what transpires throughout the day?

This would be the ultimate goal it seems, to have a life which flows easily from day to day, and one in which you are able to feel a sense of purpose no matter what occurs. Yet for most people, this isn't the case. There always is a sense of struggle for many, searching for something to give them hope, looking for happiness in things that can be acquired, basing how they feel upon external circumstances, or any other number of similar factors. In other words, a sense of self-fulfillment is in short supply and often tied to a state of happiness, related to...

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