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 11, 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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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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Transformational Educator Dr. J: Available for Online Teaching
December 28, 20210

There are many who want to teach online today, far surpassing the number of available positions. The mix of those who are interested in online teaching is well-balanced between those with extensive experience, minimal experience, and no experience. What often occurs within the hiring process is the entire group of candidates is reduced to a single collective, due to automated functions of human resource systems. It doesn't matter what your level of experience may or may not be, your degrees or advanced education, nothing is guaranteed to give you a competitive advantage at first in the job search, as you are considered solely by key words and an algorithm.

This is why I have chosen to share with you what it means to be a transformational educator, someone who has worked within...

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Be the Calming Presence Students Need to Stay Focused
November 11, 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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Encourage Hopefulness
November 11, 20210

Do you ever feel so completely overwhelmed by the external circumstances around you it seems almost impossible to remain calm and steady when you need to be present in the classroom? Has 2021 started with a sense of renewal but quickly given you feelings of apprehension and cause for concern?

A new year is under way and you have already felt the emotional pull of the year we all hoped to leave behind, along with the continued drama that fills the news almost every day. As an educator, you have to somehow separate yourself from the emotional reactions you may be experiencing, if you want to have a clear mind and remain focused on your students. But this isn't always easy to do, especially if you continue to pay attention to the news and social media. It can leave you feeling...

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