January 16, 20210

Listen as Dr. J offers encouragement for educators at the start of the new year, and discusses the importance of a positive mindset when working with learners.

Help Learners Nurture Positive Beliefs
January 12, 20210

Our country has been in turmoil. People have been taught, and continue to be taught, to see differences and evaluate each other based upon what side they are on or support. The weight of the many issues faced by society as a whole is being felt by everyone. This is in addition to the pandemic which is not just going away, it is intensifying. There's no one left untouched by the impact of what has occurred this year.

As an educator, I'm witnessing first-hand the effect of these many issues and challenges on the students I teach within online classes. Before this year occurred, the typical academic-related challenges may have been related to preparedness to learn in a virtual environment, motivation to complete required tasks while holding other responsibilities, and successfully...

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Discover Why Failure Is Essential for Learning and Growth
January 11, 20210

Students fear failure. It's not just a failing grade many students fear; it can be the fear of not receiving a perfect score each week for all required learning activities. I've worked with many doctoral learners who earn less than 100 points for their discussion posts in a previous week and believe they have failed. All they can focus on is the loss of points, even if it just six or eight points. The same holds true for written assignments. A less than perfect grade somehow indicates failure because "they have worked really hard", "put a lot of effort into the assignment", and "should be awarded full points". Some learners may believe I have somehow been excessively critical or nit-picking with my feedback, when it did not meet their expectations.

I attempt to change the...

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6 Critical Best Practices for Online Teaching: Be Prepared
January 01, 20210

We live in an unprecedented time with higher education being disrupted, as traditional classes are being moved online, at least for the time being. Whether or not this will continue for any length of time remains to be seen. This has occurred at an interesting time for the field of distance learning as many of the for-profit schools have closed, and the growth of new online schools has slowed. The number of online schools growing is limited, and competition comes from traditional schools offering online classes.

With a move of traditional classes to an online platform, there is a challenge for many educators to adapt to a virtual environment. Those educators who teach in this environment already, such as myself, are already accustomed to creating a virtual presence. However,...

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November 30, 20200

Listen as Dr. J talks about the importance of beliefs, for educators and learners.

Learn How to Become Visible and Accessible in a Virtual Classroom
October 11, 20200

Do you feel adequately prepared to teach as an online instructor? Are you easily accessible and available for your learners? Do learners perceive you as being visible and uniquely identifiable as their instructor?

One of the challenges higher education has faced recently is providing quality education via a virtual classroom environment, especially for classes not normally assigned to be taught remotely. Even for experienced online instructors, there are inherent challenges that are based upon the nature of working in this manner and will always be present, requiring dedication and time to address. One of the most pressing challenges is becoming a real person to learners, someone who is visible and available to address their needs, and more importantly, accessible when needed to...

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Maintain Excellence in Online Teaching While Addressing Learner Challenges
July 22, 20200

Welcome to the new normal, teaching adult students from a laptop or computer. Or at least this is what many instructors are beginning to experience. Yet there is a segment of higher education with those, like myself, who have already been providing transformative education via virtual classrooms for quite a long time.

Not only are we well-adjusted to this type of learning, we already know it is an effective method for teaching students, even while many instructors are just now making this discovery and attempting to adapt their teaching strategies.

What gave me a unique perspective of online teaching to begin with was my experience as an online learner. I earned a majority of my academic degrees from an online school, and this taught me the value of presence, interactions...

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