Spring Semester: Let’s Get Started!

What an electrifying time of year— a new year and the start of a new semester! The next two weeks are sure to be filled with excitement and questions. Don’t worry! There are many resources to help you be successful in the classroom, with your advisees and colleagues.

Maybe you are teaching a new course or contemplating changes to an existing class. To design your course and overcome common teaching challenges look to Honolulu Community College for articles and useful tips. From first day success to course design, they have it all.  For those teaching a new course, the Step by Step: Planning a College Course can help take your course from concept to a fully-designed course efficiently. Allow yourself plenty of time at each steps to consider what you want students to learning and how to achieve those learning goals in ways that are stimulating and engaging.

You might be wondering how to be better organized and more efficient. Part of teaching is materials management…what to do with all the papers and course materials?! Saving materials from one semester to the next can plunge our offices into chaos. Get a handle on all the detritus of teaching without stress using these helpful tips from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Saving paper and materials is only part of the task…saving time and being efficient is also key.

Perhaps you are considering how to communicate better with your advisees and help them be more successful in their courses. The advisor-advisee relationship is often strengthened through clear communication and enhanced listening skills. Monmouth Community College offers some simple, yet effective tools to help you grow your academic relationships and be a better advisor.  Understanding our role as an advisor can help us to make the most of each interaction with students and be their advocate, mentor, motivating force and cheerleader.

Building Your Online Class

Pedagogy for Online Instruction

Online learning is a significantly different experience for both students and instructors. It is not a simple transfer of content and classroom activities to the virtual world. Instructors must consider how students will navigate content and engage with the learning process when that process is removed from its traditional setting.

According to West Virginia University’s Tips for Teaching Online, pedagogical changes must occur to make the online teaching/learning experience a positive one. Look for ways to adapt your face-to-face class and to ways to add new elements.

Whether you are new to online teaching or an experienced instructor, there are many common challenges related to course design.While it is impossible for students to have the same exact experience in an online class as they do in a face-to-face classroom, we can make the experience just as rewarding and satisfying using these tips for Humanizing Your Online Course.

Just as critical as pedagogy, is strong knowledge of your learning management system, Moodle and learning how to navigate this tool.

Other considerations when building your course might include the size and type of files you use. Remember that some students may have difficulty with large files or downloading depending on the strength of their connection. This can be a significant problem for students in rural areas. See the comments of GCC President Bob Pura and Chief Information Officer Michael Assaf in the Chronicle.

Helpful resources for online course creation:

11 Strategies for Managing Your Online Courses

Designing Online Courses: models-for-improvement

Five Common Pitfalls of Online Course Design from Faculty Focus

10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching

Report on Online Course Design13 Strategies for Faculty

Report on Online Course Quality

Balancing Online Course Workload

7 Assessment Challenges of Moving your Class online