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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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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How to Design the Life You Want, One Dream at a Time
June 24, 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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Discover Why Learning Requires Interactions, and an Instructor
June 13, 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 Kindness Is a Vital Online Teaching Characteristic
May 16, 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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Do You Reward Students Who Work Hard?
May 01, 20210

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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You Can't Get to the Pinnacle in Life If You're Stuck at the Bottom
April 02, 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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Be the Calming Presence Students Need to Stay Focused
March 13, 20210

Learning requires focus, and focus requires attention to what is being studied, thought about, formulated, and written. It is a process that occurs with intent and conscious involvement, and cannot be rushed no matter how much any student would like for it to be. Yet as any instructor knows, being enrolled in a class, especially an online class, is rarely the only responsibility a student has in any given week. For many students, classwork is often viewed from the perspective of what can be accomplished in the least amount of time, with the least amount of effort, and with the least interruption of all other required responsibilities. In other words, classwork is not always a top priority.

During pre-pandemic times, many students could balance their lives, careers, family, other...

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Discover Why Self-Fulfillment Begins with You, Not a Job
January 24, 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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Show Patience with Students and Their Persistence Will Increase
January 19, 20210

A busy work week with many tasks to complete and not enough time. There are endless papers to review and discussions awaiting your participation. It's the weekly balancing act you find yourself part of and for most of the time you can manage it well, until the unexpected questions, demands, and emails or messages start coming in. You are able to balance the week effectively enough, until you find your time taken up by students and the end of the week rush occurs. This is when the feelings of stress really begin to take over and you have to be careful how you respond to your students.

Does this sound familiar? It's something I've experienced as an online educator for many years. While I've learned to develop an effective time management strategy, and become proactive in meeting...

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