Make the Most of Teaching Online
(A Specially Annotated Version of FutureU’s Student Web Book, “Make the Most of Learning Online.”)
- Consider a possible structure for presenting your online course materials.
- Consider various types of navigation for use with your online course materials.
- Understand the minimum hardware and software requirements for a typical online classroom.
Chapter 1: Learning on the Internet
- Acknowledge the many advantages of learning online.
- Acknowledge the many challenges as well.
- Learn how to avoid student problems with email and online classroom discussions.
- Learn tips for lightening your workload around the online components of a course.
- Consolidate your thinking about the Internet by discussing it with others.
Chapter 2: The Electronic Classroom
- Understand what course management software is and what it offers you as a course developer and instructor.
- Recognize the skills every student and instructor must have to participate fully in the online components of any course.
- Practice using several different discussion forum software products.
- Practice using a simple template to build a glossary of terms related to a course.
- Introduce your students to online journaling and free journaling software.
- Start your own instructor’s journal to consolidate your course planning as you go.
- Consolidate your own thinking about the electronic classroom by discussing it with others.
Chapter 3: Internet Basics
- Articulate for your students how the Internet and World Wide Web came to exist and why, and how both can enhance learning.
- Understand how to choose the right ISP for your teaching.
- Visit two Web sites that review ISPs.
- Articulate the purpose of a browser, and download the latest version of yours.
- Install a half-dozen plugins used in online teaching and learning.
- Articulate the distinction between hypertext and printed text and how the difference impacts teaching and learning.
- Break down a URL into its component parts.
- If your students need it, help them practice using a mouse, clicking on links, and surfing the Web.
- Encourage your students to look for at least eight patterns in their use of the Internet.
- Explore three Web sites that serve as guides to the Internet.
- Learn about books that can deepen your own and your students’ understanding of the Internet.
- Consolidate your own thinking about the Internet by discussing it with others.
Chapter 4: Email
- Solidify what you and your students know about email and how it can enhance education.
- Explore various free email software programs.
- Help your students deconstruct an email address.
- Recognize the eight basic skills necessary for efficient use of any email program.
- Encourage your students to visit at least one of three Web tutorials about email.
- Minimize later hassles with an assignment related to the topic of email itself.
- Consolidate your own thinking about email by discussing it with others.
Chapter 5: Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)
- Introduce your students to 20 standard rules for behavior in the Internet culture.
- Learn simple tricks for enhancing online communication and preventing problems.
- Introduce 14 common emoticons and seven useful abbreviations.
- Understand the copyright issues unique to the Internet.
- Know the rules for determining when a document enters the public domain.
- Introduce Web sites on netiquette.
- Introduce Web sites on emoticons.
- Introduce Web sites on Internet ethics and privacy.
- Consolidate your own thinking about netiquette by discussing it with others.
Chapter 6: Understanding Online Participation
- Encourage successful group interactions by introducing 13 generally accepted standards for frequency and style of online participation.
- Introduce eight standards for the appropriate use of language in online interactions.
- Introduce nine accepted standards for online document formatting.
- Explain what a pixel is and how it is used.
- Demonstrate how to use evolving subject lines in messages.
- Explain the concept of conversational “threading.”
- Explain the concept of language “chunking.”
- Present a range of strategies for successful online interaction.
- Offer four checklists of tips for success in online interaction.
Chapter 7: Creating the Best Work Station for Online Study
- Acknowledge the importance of safety and comfort to the online learning process.
- Break down the five components of an appropriate environment for online study.
- Offer seven guidelines for preventing computer-related injuries.
- Analyze the ergonomics of your own workstation and encourage your students to do the same.
- Introduce four unique time management skills required for efficient online study.
- Introduce three types of environments used for online communication.
- Present four possible methods of reading on a computer screen and their different purposes.
- Explain when, when not, and how to print out information.
- Explain how to take notes on the computer while reading on screen.
- Explain how to save pages to disk.
- Explain how and when to download files.
- Introduce bookmarking.
- Explain how to adjust the size of a computer’s viewing area.
- Explain how to change the print size on a screen.
- Explain how to adjust the colors on a screen.
Chapter 8: Submitting Assignments by Email
- Acknowledge five challenges and nine benefits to sharing computer files.
- Learn how to track and evaluate assignments.
- Present the five pieces of information that every student should include on the cover page of an assignment submitted by email.
- Explain how students can protect their computers from viruses.
- Explain when to use rich text format.
- Present the accepted standards for delivering extra-large files.
- Explain the value of conversion software and where to get it.
- Introduce the eight steps for attaching a file to an email message.
- Learn how to avoid problems around email submissions.
- Assign a reading on foolproof file enclosures.
Chapter 9: Using the Internet for Assignment Research
- Acknowledge the value of careful planning for Internet research.
- Present a 14-step strategy for successful Internet research.
- Introduce a valuable set of online dictionaries, thesauri, and library catalogs.
- Introduce “uncovering.”
- Introduce “gophers” and assign practice with the first one ever developed.
- Explain the difference between two broad types of search engines.
- Compare up to nine popular search engines and help students learn how to choose the best one for various types of research questions.
- Present various search strategies.
- Introduce seven database sites.
- Explain boolean operators and their use in Internet research.
- Explain how to evaluate resources found on the Internet.
- Introduce a Web site that can help students hone their critical thinking skills.
- Introduce a software program for record keeping.
- Explain the accepted method for citing quotations from Internet sources.
- Introduce a site full of Web searching tips.
- Offer an electronic tutorial on Web searching.
- Assign a reading on copyright and fair use in the digital age.
- Introduce up to five online citation guides and present the most popular print-based style guides.
- Acknowledge the legal and moral obligations associated with copyright.
- Explain when a student may and may not legally copy someone else’s work.
- Present 10 important rules for determining when a document is in the public domain.
Chapter 10: Using the Internet for Group Learning
- Acknowledge the individual participant’s responsibility to an online group.
- Introduce a list of 10 activities that any group may do together and eight benefits of doing them online.
- Explain the benefits and limitations of seven different types of media used for online group interaction.
- Explain the 11 steps to starting an online group.
- Introduce a template of guidelines for group procedures, behavior, and shared values.
- Explain alignment and seven possible levels of individual alignment with group goals.
- Explain the difference between discussion and dialogue.
- Introduce up to four Web sites that introduce group process tools.
- Present two valuable tips for successful chatting.
- Understand both qualitative and quantitative harvesting.
- Understand weaving.
- Recognize the resources necessary for collaborative learning.
- Understand the differences between traditional learning and facilitated, collaborative learning.
- Explain eight steps that occur in the formation of any collaborative group.
- Learn 15 tips for successfully facilitating an online group.
- Assign practice at planning an online group activity.
Student Tool Kit
Offer your students all of the following resources from a single page:
- Online dictionaries
- Online thesauri
- Online encyclopedias
- Online grammar guides
- Maps online
- Government statistics
- More than half of all U.S. government documents
- Full texts of thousands of books, from Aesop’s Fables to Shakespeare’s plays
- Audio recordings of thousands of politically significant events
- Virtual museums
- Online reference resources
- Glossary templates
- Template for online group guidelines
- Other educational sites (e.g., climate conditions)
- A range of subject-specific Webcams
Chapter 1: The Big Picture
- Acknowledge the need for extra planning in a classroom enriched by technology.
- View two examples of technology enrichment: HTML and Powerpoint.
- Compare the physical and electronic classrooms.
- Start to focus on the four-phase model of course design.
Chapter 2: The Study Phase
- Study a list of possible purposes for any course. Start thinking about what you want to accomplish with yours and what constraints (time, equipment, etc.) you may face.
- Study five key aspects of online course design and start to think about how they will influence your decisions.
- Use a checklist of possible course components to start deciding on your mix of face-to-face and technology-enriched delivery.
- Review the media options for group interaction.
- Study a comparison of the leading course management software products.
- Study and evaluate at least one existing course delivered entirely online.
- Track your progress with a Study Phase checklist.
- Consolidate what you learn in the Study Phase by discussing it with others.
Chapter 3: The Design Phase
- Acknowledge the importance of careful course design..
- Understand the two possible purposes of a Web page
- Clarify your purpose.
- Understand the benefits and drawbacks of conventional and computer-mediated learning venues as they relate to time and place.
- Make choices about eleven key aspects of course design.
- Learn about two learning models of particular help to educators in designing technology-enriched courses.
- Consolidate your understanding of the three possible levels of the delivery mix.
- Understand the role of seven types of online learning activities and eleven kinds of learning structures and choose from among them.
- Consider two approaches to mapping your course.
- Choose from three types of presentation design.
- Create two types of course instructions.
- Learn how to gauge the delivery time of the online activities in your course.
- Understand chunking and linking.
- Anticipate the need for a dozen facilitation practices that encourage online participation.
- Track your progress with a Design Phase checklist.
- Consolidate what you learn in the Design Phase by discussing it with others.
Chapter 4: The Development Phase
- Carry out the development of a dozen aspects of your course design.
- Compare your results against prevailing standards.
- Visit a range of Web sites that other instructors have found useful as resources for course materials that can be accessed online.
- Learn more about the delivery of audio and video on the Web, including the four challenges that must be overcome.
- Learn about effective Web design.
- Track your progress with a Development Phase checklist.
- Consolidate what you learn in the Development Phase by discussing it with others.
Chapter 5: Learn Basic HTML Codes
- Understand what HTML code is and how it can help you enhance the presentation of your course materials.
- Learn about four ways you can place course materials on the Web without learning HTML.
- Deconstruct a basic HTML code.
- Learn and practice more than a dozen common HTML codes for use in building course Web pages.
- Consolidate what you learn about HTML by discussing it with others.
Chapter 6: Create a Basic Web Page
- Learn the seven document structure tags that every Web page must have.
- Study examples of how simple HTML tags are used to build a page.
- Learn the six most common HTML tags used to add personality to a Web page.
- Compare a simple Web page with the attribute tags behind its design.
- Learn a dozen HTML tags used for determining the appearance of an image on a Web page and what they specify.
- Compare a Web page displaying a graphic image with the attribute tags that determined its appearance.
- Explore two tutorials on HTML.
- Consolidate what you learn about Web page design by discussing it with others
Chapter 7: The Implementation Phase
- Learn six steps for launching the online components of a course.
- Learn four proven steps for getting an online discussion going.
- Understand the differing roles of teacher and facilitator.
- Understand the four basic aspects of managing asynchronous online group activities.
- Learn 17 ways to create a successful online group experience.
- Learn a proven method for dealing with inappropriate student messages.
- Track your progress with an Implementation Phase checklist.
- Consolidate what you learn in the Implementation Phase by discussing it with others.