Online Teaching as a Career: Ongoing Professional Development is Needed
August 22, 20180

Do you have formal plans in place for ongoing professional development? Do you seek out new opportunities to learn and grow?

What is the essence of online teaching? Should an online instructor be referred to as a teacher, facilitator, educator – or perhaps all three are applicable? In the reality of online teaching, all three of those words apply as an online instructor must know how to teach a subject, facilitate a learning process, and be an educator by knowing how adults learn.

At the heart of online teaching are the relationships and interactions developed and sustained with students, the personal connections made that humanize the learning experience, and the discussions that are nurtured to engage students in meaningful conversations. The work of an online...

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Strategies and Resources Needed to Transform Online Teaching
July 18, 20180

Do you know what it will take to become a transformational online educator? Do you know what it takes to develop a strong virtual online presence?

Many educators who begin to teach online believe they can make the transition easily from teaching in a traditional college classroom to an online classroom. What they don't realize, if they don't seek out resources to help them learn how to teach in a virtual environment, is that they are putting themselves and their class at a disadvantage. The reason why is due to the significant difference between classroom teaching and online teaching. It isn't because the principles of adult learning have changed, or the needs of adult students have changed, rather it is due to the change in the format of learning.

Educators who have...

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Discover How to Take the Distance Out of Distance Learning
July 12, 20180

Are you teaching online classes and interested in an instructional strategy which could help strengthen your relationships with students, while also influencing their level of performance, motivation, and engagement?

The online classroom does not change the basic principles of adult learning; but the format of learning has changed when it is enabled by technology. However, the online classroom may change the nature of the student's involvement. A student's need for self-motivation and taking responsibility for their involvement in class may be greater with an online class.

The online student's engagement in the class is usually encouraged through the use of discussion boards and asynchronous interactions with his or her instructor. Performance in an online classroom...

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How You Can Help Students Who Seem to Not Want Help
June 20, 20180

Do you have students who struggle in your classes, yet will not ask for help? Do you conduct outreach strategies, or do you wait for them to contact you?

It would seem 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...

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Online Teaching as a Career: Nurturing a Positive Mindset for Student Success
June 02, 20181

Do you take time to focus on the mindset of your students? Do you implement any teaching strategies to promote a positive mindset? When you consider factors that are important for the learning process, from the perspective of your students, you might list factors such as academic skills, self-motivation, and time management. However, what any student needs to succeed over the long term is perseverance, persistence, and a growth mindset.

At the heart of all of these qualities and characteristics is a belief system which either supports or derails a student's progress. The beliefs that students hold about their academic abilities and capability to participate in the learning process will determine their level of effort, energy, and willingness to be involved. It influences their...

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Discover Why Critical Thinking is Critical for Learning
May 24, 20180

Do you understand what critical thinking means? Is there an indicator when thinking becomes or transforms into critical thinking?

The phrase "critical thinking" has become widely used in this field and it is a skill which students are told they must learn. The challenge is that this phrase can have multiple descriptions when educators are asked to define it. The descriptions provided by students are even more varied and often described using clichés such as "thinking outside of the box", or they can come closer to what this concept means when they relate it to problem-solving.

This poses a challenge for the inclusion of critical thinking in a list of skills students need to learn because there isn't a clear standard regarding how best to teach it, along with an...

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How to Work with a Difficult or Challenging Boss
May 17, 20180

A difficult manager. We have all known someone like this or worked for this type of person. This is a person who seems to have an on and off switch which can be triggered or activated, with or without any warning. This manager is challenging to work with and when it is your manager whose personality or demeanor seems to constantly change – it poses even greater challenges as this person is responsible for your work assignments, performance evaluations, and establishing a reputation with your employer. When you find you are in this situation, there are coping strategies you can implement to help how you respond to and work with this type of challenging (and often difficult) boss.

Management Styles

While there are countless articles written about managing...

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The Key to Success in Life and Work is Learning What Fear Means
May 10, 20180

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  – Franklin D. Roosevelt.

There is one feeling that carries with it more negative power than any other and it is fear. The very word fear itself can bring unpleasant memories to light and remind us of what we believe we cannot accomplish. It carries a negative connotation and represents an uncomfortable feeling of helplessness or hopelessness. It may be felt when a goal was not achieved, and result in a time of questioning, doubt, and second-guessing.

Fear is also associated with a time when a person becomes afraid to try something new or becomes indecisive while considering possibilities about what may or may not happen as a result of a pending decision. It is a time of uncertainty, looking ahead and not knowing...

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Online Teaching as a Career: How to Become Visible in a Virtual Classroom
February 19, 20180

Do you know how to maintain an active presence in an online or virtual classroom? Do you understand the connection between an active presence and students' perception of your involvement in the class?

If you have taught an online course you know firsthand what it is like to teach in a virtual environment, along with challenges that are inherent for working and interacting in this type of classroom. Online teaching is viewed by some instructors as a function that must be managed, and others see the true potential that it holds and that it is a process to be nurtured. If instructors are going to create conditions that are conducive to learning they must do more than manage a class, they must be active, present, and available for students. This requires the development of a virtual...

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How Can You Put Heart and Soul Into Teaching Adults?
January 13, 20180

Teaching students can be a transformative experience, for educators and students alike, when both immerse themselves in the learning experience through the exchange of ideas and discourse which sparks critical thinking.

Teaching adults is more commonly called instruction or facilitation, and is often viewed as a specific function with associated requirements that depend upon the person’s status and classroom environment. Some persons choose to teach adults as a career in a traditional university and others choose a non-traditional route, such as an online school or corporate classroom.

But why does someone, or why would someone, decide to teach adults as a career choice? I have found there are persons who are good with the delivery of information, effective facilitating a...

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