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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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 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 5 Essential Learner-Centered Strategies For Online Instructors
May 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 Why Kindness Is a Vital Online Teaching Characteristic
May 01, 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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Charting a Pathway to Success in Life: Setting a Course for Your Destination
April 22, 20210

Are you thinking about the future and feeling hopeful? How has the pandemic changed your view of life, and your dreams of the future life you hoped to achieve? Do you view the year 2020 as having caused a temporary setback, or resulting in something that will cause you to reset your entire life's plan, because of the uncertainty which remains?

There is no question many people found themselves having to rethink how they planned their lives, and the idea of being successful during an international health crisis became more of a matter of survival. What was this year like for you? Could you still think of being successful in some manner? Did you have goals you sought to accomplish?

The topic of success is discussed quite frequently within the self-help industry and I do not...

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Discover How to Engage Your Students in an Active Learning Process
April 22, 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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Show Patience with Students and Their Persistence Will Increase
February 22, 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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Discover How to Become an Emotionally Intelligent Educator
February 11, 20210

"You cannot interact with students and be devoid of emotions." – Dr. Bruce A. Johnson

Emotions are present in every aspect of our communication, whether or not we are aware of the existence of it. For example, you are having an emotional reaction right now as you read this opening introduction.

You either feel a sense of connection to what you are reading, and want to continue, or you believe you already know enough about the subject and feel it would not be worth your time to continue.

When I refer to having emotions present with all communication, both written and spoken, it does not mean you are having an extreme emotional reaction. Rather it means you are reacting in a particular manner about what it is you are feeling or hearing, and you are...

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Five Strategies
February 11, 20210

The shift to virtual learning which occurred in 2020 may have changed higher education in a profound manner, even after the crisis that caused the transition to occur is finally resolved. Students who have never taken an online class now realize they can learn in this manner. Yet many educators who never taught in this environment understand teaching online is not easier than teaching in a traditional classroom. A lack of visual and verbal cues presents an immediate learning curve for anyone who is just starting to teach online. In addition, the learning management system alone cannot be relied upon as the reason why students succeed in this type of environment. However, virtual learning has already established a proven track record of meeting the needs of students.

One of the...

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