Page 4 - Distance Education Best Practices
P. 4

• Ensure students are provided an orientation to the technology
                                       utilized in the course and learning management system.  This can
                                       be done live or via a video demonstration.
                                     • When possible, instructors should provide a screen capture to
                                       visually walk students through the course to familiarize students to
                                       the layout and more easily access course information.
                                     • Identify all the technical requirements required for course
                                       completion in the syllabus.  Identify if special software or computer
                                       specifications are required.
             Course                  • Instructors and students need to assure they are speaking the
                                       same "lingo" when giving instruction, directions, or
         Technology                    troubleshooting problems. Instructors and students have a variety
                                       of familiarity regarding technology.  Make sure that both parties
                                       have the skills to communicate effectively.  Instructors may consider
                                       providing a glossary of terms that may be used when referring to
                                       distance learning technology, i.e., web browser, courseware,
                                       streaming, video conferencing, webinar, etc.

                                    • Provide contact information and office hours for the faculty member.
                                     Also include the preferred method of communication (email, text,
                                     phone, etc.).
                                    • Provide contact information for additional resources for student
                                     support, such as technical support, tutoring, advising, etc.
                                    • Set boundaries.  It is important for online course instructors to set
                                     boundaries for the hours that they are available and hours that they
                                     are not available.  Explain to your students that they can expect a
                                     response from you during your available hours, and stick to it.  Online
                                     instructors need down time and their mental health needs to be
                                     preserved; this can be accomplished through setting clear
          Learner/                   boundaries and sticking to them.

           Faculty                  • To assist students with common problems in the distance learning
                                     environment, instructors should provide within the course a
          Support                    "Frequently Asked Questions" section that provides answers to these
                                     questions.  Instructors might also incorporate a forum area where
                                     questions can be posed by students to questions not answered in the
                                     "FAQs" section.  This allows for other students and/or the instructor to
                                     answer the questions and provide a resource for future students who
                                     may experience the same problem.
                                    • Both students and instructors need to schedule themselves
                                     dedicated class time.
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8