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‘Skeptically Optimistic’ in an Open Online Course. David S. Stein, Ph.D. Constance E. Wanstreet, Ph.D. “I [had] a lot of skepticism towards being able to teach online . . . [and] develop the same sort of meaningful relationships with my students online.”. Boot Camp participant.

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‘Skeptically Optimistic’ in an Open Online Course

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‘Skeptically Optimistic’ in an Open Online Course

David S. Stein, Ph.D.

Constance E. Wanstreet, Ph.D.

  • “I [had] a lot of skepticism towards being able to teach online . . . [and] develop the same sort of meaningful relationships with my students online.”

Boot Camp participant

  • Boot Camp for Beginning Online Instructors

  • Create favorable attitude

  • Self-paced

  • Asynchronous 20-hours/five days

  • Quick-start guide

  • Boot Camp features

  • Videos from experienced GTAs

  • E-book for guidance

  • Challenges to simulate online classroom

  • Desire2Learn and iTunesU versions

    • http://go.osu.edu/OnlineInstructor

Desktop version

Daily challenges



  • Designed around five challenges

  • Making the transition to online teaching

  • Building online spaces for learning

  • Preparing your students for online learning

  • Managing and facilitating the online classroom

  • Assessing learner outcomes

  • How do skeptical but hopeful GTAs learn to teach online?

  • Portable Pedagogy

  • No more fixed locations

  • iPads, iPhones, everyday technology

    • Use visual, aural, and textual features to create/express learning

  • Internet access to:

    • Materials

    • Resources

    • Other learners

    • Instructor

Activity system elements


  • Use LMS tools


    Articulate roles

    Social Practices

    Identify types of interaction

    Learning Community

    Identify ways to engage


    Facilitate parts of a course

Stein, D. S., & Wanstreet, C. E. (2011). Teaching in the future: A blueprint for faculty development. In S. D’Agustino (Ed.), Adaptation, resistance and access to instructional technologies: Assessing future trends in education (pp. 445-459). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.


Facilitate a course using the LMS

Describe when to use discussions

Describe when to provide feedback

Distinguish between when to use a dropboxor a discussion board

Demonstrate how to use news items

Demonstrate how to use admin tools (i.e., gradebook, email)

Using email as an admin tool


Articulate roles of faculty and students

Assess readiness to teach

Describe how to manage time and establish relationships

Prepare students for the experience

Direct students to technical help

Compose welcome and expectations messages

Welcome message

Social Practices

Identify different types of interaction

  • Learner-learner

  • Learner-instructor

  • Learner-content

  • Learner-interface

    Recognize what type of interaction is appropriate when

    Describe how to facilitate various types of interaction

Interaction and social presence

Learning Community

Identify different ways to engage

Articulate differences:



Individual knowledge acquisition

Fostering community over coffee


Facilitate various parts of an online or hybrid course

Assess outcomes

  • Did it work?

  • I have confidence to teach online: 100%

  • I can use online tools: 100%

  • I can get to know my students as well online as in person: 75%

  • I can connect well with my students: 67%

  • (N=52)

  • “Through the readings, activities, andthe videos from experienced online instructors, I have a better sense of the opportunities of online teaching, whereas before I saw mostly limitations. I have gained comfort with the prospect of teaching online.”

Boot Camp participant

  • Reflections

  • “opened up new tools and concepts”

  • “probably the best way to prepare”

  • “enhanced my desire to make sure my students feel connected”

  • “refined my understanding of online teaching”

  • Engagement

  • Multiple opportunities to give back

  • Relate

    • Apply what they learn to their own courses

  • Create

    • Complete learning activities

  • Donate

    • Share their learning with others

    • (Kearsley, G., & Schneiderman, B. (1997). Engagement theory:

    • A framework for technology-based teaching and learning.

    • Educational Technology, 38(5), 20-23.

  • Contact us

  • David Stein, stein.1@osu.edu

  • Connie Wanstreet, wanstreet.2@osu.edu

  • iTunes U: http://go.osu.edu/OnlineInstructor

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