Discover How to Transform Online Teaching
March 28, 20210

This book was written to provide educators with a professional development opportunity from an academic leader and innovative educator. The purpose of this book is to inspire your work as an online educator, develop engaging instructional practices, connect with students in a meaningful manner, and perform your very best.

Every online instructor needs a set of tools, techniques, and strategies to make the process of teaching an online class more effective. Whether you are a first-time online instructor or a seasoned professional, there is something you will likely find beneficial for your work within this new book.

This book was written to provide educators with a professional development opportunity from an academic leader and innovative educator. You can choose to read...

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When You Appreciate Students, Learning Becomes Transformative
July 10, 20220

The saying about perception becoming our reality is absolutely true and especially relevant for online students who cannot assess an instructor visually. Instead, students rely upon perceptions to decide what the reality of an online class will be, and distance learning in general, whether or not those perceptions are accurate.

For example, if a student is focused on outcomes only, such as a grade for an assignment or the course itself, they are going to rely upon perceptual cues to determine if their instructor is making an accurate assessment. Those cues come from interactions and a perceived tone of every message or email received. If there is any sense of negativity or indifference to the needs of the student, the outcome received is going to be perceived as anything but...

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Discover How to Uplift and Support Your Online Students
June 13, 20220

Any educator who engages in ongoing professional development knows most of the topics written about are usually related to classroom management, technology, future trends, and even online classroom presence. Yet the one topic that is not readily available, and isn't easy to train faculty about, is supporting the needs and growth of online students. This is not a procedural matter, rather it's a disposition held by each individual educator.

Online teaching can be a transformative experience for educators and students alike. One of the reasons this occurs is the discourse available through online discussion boards, when both exchange ideas and engage in intellectual discourse. But then when an educator engages their heart into the process, and students feel or perceive they are...

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May 11, 20220

A typical path for the high school graduate used to be enrollment in college, making a transition from one learning environment to the next, even if a major had not yet been determined. For many high school graduates, this may still be the case. However, within the field of higher education, there has been a shift over time, with an increase in a different type of student who is attending school. This student is known as the non-traditional learner, or someone who waits for a period of time to return to school to pursue formal education.

A non-traditional learner could be someone who doesn't enroll in college courses right after high school. This type of learner could also be someone who completed an undergraduate degree after high school, and then waited a period of time to...

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Do You Reward Students Who Work Hard?
May 11, 20220

As an educator, do you believe the process of grading or evaluating students' work is always completed in a fair manner? Are you able to maintain a strict sense of objectivity as you evaluate learning activities completed by your students?

I've thought about this recently as I reviewed the levels of a scoring guide given to me to complete for a written assignment. While the wording was seemingly different between these levels, there is still an element of subjectivity to the process. For example, is there really that much of a difference between "explains" and "completely explains" a concept? And who would be able to audit what an educator has assigned, as the score for a particular criterion, without injecting their own sense of subjectivity when attempting to interpret what...

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When Faced with an Ending, Hit Reset for a New Beginning
April 11, 20220

The day may not start out as you had hoped for or go according to what you have planned. It's also possible you may find yourself facing challenges not yet experienced in your personal or professional life. Yet there is something you can always control, and that is your mindset. If you work on it, it you can be strong in the face of doubt, fear, and questions.

I know exactly what this means as I received news of the unexpected 15 days before the December holiday in 2021. Not only was I in shock, so too were the many students who reached out to me personally, who wanted to know about the classes I would be teaching for the next term. It was an emotional layoff, as I had been involved with this university since 2002, first as a learner, and then as a faculty member. I...

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This is a Very Good Day to Start Believing in Yourself
April 11, 20220

It is always much easier to question ourselves, doubt our abilities, and given into fears, than begin a day with self-talk about the best of who we are and all we have accomplished. Why does negativity occur so naturally, to the point it is a natural or default setting for many people?

I can make these observations based upon my many years of work as an educator, career coach, and mindset developmental coach. I also know how hard I have worked to maintain a positive mindset after a job has been cut, typically due to declining enrollment, which has been a common theme throughout my career within the field of distance learning. What has sustained me: A belief in my experience, knowing I am capable, qualified, and someone who cares deeply about this profession. In other words, I...

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5 Positive Choices Needed to Sustain a Healthy Life Balance
March 22, 20220

Do you think about your life and what it takes to keep yourself well-balanced and healthy? What I've observed, as a mindset coach is the average person gets caught up with life and many responsibilities held, without thinking about if there is an imbalance in one area or another. Typically, it isn't until a time of crisis, such as a health concern or other triggering event, when someone will stop and take stock of their life.

The traditional thinking about balance is related to a work and life balance, balancing family, friends, hobbies, and whatever is important with a person's career. Yet I've found balance to sustain a healthy life involves something much more important, and it all starts with mindset maintenance. If you think of the mind being in balance, there would be a...

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March 17, 20220

When you're assigned an online class, what is your mindset, as to the responsibilities you've been tasked with completing? Do you have a particular checklist ready to use in preparation for your duties? Is there anything you do to mentally prepare for the start of the class? Do you think about how you'll interact with your students?

Based upon my experience, there are two commonly held views by online instructors. One is to approach your instructional role as a series of tasks to complete, a class to manage, and students to address in a fairly routine manner. The other is to view this role from the perspective of being an educator, mentor, coach, and someone who can make a direct contribution to the development of your students. Most instructors develop a standard working...

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Respond to Disrespectful Students with Appreciation and Care
March 11, 20220

What do you expect of your students, as to an expectation of respect for you and your position as their instructor?

From my experience, whenever you teach a class with adult students, there is an expectation these students will maintain a basic level of respect for you as their instructor. It's a mutual process, with the instructor reciprocating back to their students that same basic level of respect. I've not had to think about this topic until recently, when I've observed a trend with many online students no longer holding respect for their instructors.

What I'm noticing is some online students feeling empowered to speak in any manner they see fit, without regard for the school's Student Code of Conduct. Worse yet, a student who speaks with a lack of respect can also...

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