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Introduction to Online Education Fundamentals. For Administrators. Getting Started: The First Steps toward Online Teaching.

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    1. Introduction to Online Education Fundamentals For Administrators

    2. Getting Started: The First Steps toward Online Teaching This course introduces potential faculty and/or administrators to online education fundamentals and is a prerequisite to both the Online Teaching Certificate and the Blended Teaching Certificate programs. Not only will you discuss the concepts but you will use the technologies to gain practical "hands-on" experience.

    3. Face-to-Face versus Online Teaching Objective: Compare face-to-face and online teaching, including expectations, role adjustments, and course design

    4. Expectations in the Online Environment • Participation: Learners and instructors will take an active role in creating dialog and peer interaction • Instruction: Innovative, engaging, and flexible, but based on outcomes • Presence: The perception that others are present; environment and activities are designed to promote presence • Guidelines: Clear assignment instructions, rubrics, detailed syllabus, learner contracts/agreements

    5. Role Adjustments Online • Instructors • Online activities: communication (discussions, email, chat); evaluation (grading); technical support; changes and maintenance (“hot fixes”) • Providing learners with resources choose from or guidance for finding their own (Mandernach et al., 2009) • Facilitating vs. teaching; willing to put learners in control (ION, 2013) • Learners • More autonomous • Must share in knowledge management and creation • Critical literacy skills: information, technology, thinking

    6. For Discussion • What are your expectations for your role as an online instructor? How do you think your role will differ from the face-to-face environment?

    7. Online Course Design • Start with goals and objectives; choose assessments, activities, and strategies that best support the learning outcomes (ION, 2013) • Courses: Modular, interactive, engaging; accommodates various learning styles through selection of readings, assignments, and assessments • Discussions: "Planned, meaningful, prepared" (Mandernach et al., 2009); support for higher order activities that are reflective and research-based • Syllabus design: Narrative versus modular (to support cognitive load management online, use of mobile devices)

    8. Principles of Effective Participation Objective: Apply the principles of effective participation through chat and discussion.

    9. Chat and Discussion • "Heart" of online learning; should encourage critical thinking (ION, 2013; Mandernach et al., 2009) • "Presence“: The perception that others are present in the interaction (Short, Williams, & Christy, 1976); quality participation decreases isolation, anonymity, and polarization (Mandernach et al., 2009) • “[D]iscussion questions should not be discrete questions that have a definite answer, rely solely on opinion, or require minimal insight and investigation" (Mandernach et al., 2009)

    10. Considerations • Three types of communication essential to the online classroom: course content related; planning; social support (Hrastinski, 2008) • Environment: Open to all; established rules ("netiquette"); guidelines for participation (operationalization) (Min, 2007) • Build presence through introductions, ice breakers • Allow space/time for informal dialogue not related to the course (Dailey-Hebert, Mandernach, & Donnelli-Sallee, 2006) • Techniques: Affinity groups, guest speakers, role playing, debate/mock trials, media, case studies, simulations (Mandernach et al., 2009)

    11. Instructor Participation • Understanding of asynchronous facilitation techniques is essential! • Taking an active role in the discussion (versus monitoring) influences the value and effectiveness of online discussion (Mandernach et al., 2009) • Participate regularly and visibly; remain non-judgmental • Focus on helping learners increase and deepen understanding

    12. For Discussion • Face-to-face discussions can be spontaneous and dynamic. How can you encourage a similar quality of interaction in the online environment?

    13. Synchronous and Asynchronous Technologies Objective: Use synchronous and asynchronous technologies

    14. Advantages • While research does not support the use of one mode over the other, each has its advantages • Synchronous: immediacy, real-time collaboration, large group interaction, presence • Asynchronous: Flexibility, time management, reflection, information processing; tools are probably more widely used

    15. Tools • Synchronous: Chat rooms, instant messaging, video chat, Skype, Communicator, web conferencing, immersive environments, Multi-user Domains (MUDs) or Multi-user Object Oriented Environments (MOOs) (ION, 2013), conference calling, collaborative document editing such as Google Drive • Asynchronous: Listservs, RSS feeds, email, discussion boards, document sharing (, DropBox, Google Drive), blogs, wikis, portfolios • Helpful Resource: Faculty Focus. (n.d.). Synchronous and asynchronous learning tools: 15 Strategies for engaging online students using real-time chat, threaded discussions and blogs. Retrieved from

    16. Best Practices • Synchronous: Have an agenda, chunk the presentation, stay on topic, manage emotions, provide summaries • Asynchronous: Organize the environment, use the features of the environment, provide summaries, monitor and guide From the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2011b). Best practices for the asynchronous and synchronous classroom. Retrieved from

    17. Online Management Objective: Prepare for managing online classes, workload, and resources

    18. Productivity and Accountability • Allow additional time to plan, prepare, grade, and communicate • Some indication that online design and development is more time-intensive than face-to-face, but delivery may require less effort (Andersen & Avery, 2008) • According to Andersen and Avery (2008), instructors in online courses spend the greatest amount of time interacting with students. They also spent significantly more time evaluating work than their face-to-face counterparts.

    19. Planning Online Instruction • Use variety in selecting activities; appeal to a wide range of learners; give choice (Dailey-Hebert, Mandernach, & Donnelli-Sallee, 2006) • Choose activities that promote critical thinking • Promote active, connected learning • Use techniques that gain attention and provide motivation

    20. Supporting Instructors and Learners • Technical support: Just-in-time/self help; peer support (lead faculty); help desk • Promote tools and techniques for time management and organization • Prioritize prompt and substantive communication and feedback

    21. For Discussion • What do you expect to be the biggest challenges for both instructors and learners in the online environment? What actions can you take to address those challenges?

    22. References and Resources • Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Class differences: Online education in the United States, 2010. Retrieved from • Andersen, K., & Avery, M. (2008). Faculty teaching time: A comparison of web-based and face-to-face graduate nursing courses. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 5(1). Retrieved from • Dailey-Hebert, A., Mandernach, B., & Donnelli-Sallee, E. (2006). Best practices in the development and facilitation of online courses. Retrieved from • Hrastinski, S. (2008, November 4). Asynchronous & synchronous e-learning. EDUCAUSE Quarterly. Retrieved from • ION - Illinois Online Network. (2013). Instructional strategies for online courses. Retrieved from • Mandernach, B., Forrest, K., Babutzke, J., & Manker, L. (2009). The role of instructor interactivity in promoting critical thinking in online and face-to-face classrooms. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(1). Retrieved from • Min, S. (2007). Online vs. face-to-face deliberation: Effects on civic engagement. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4). Retrieved from • Morris, L., Xu, H., & Finnegan, C. (2005). Roles of faculty in teaching asynchronous undergraduate courses. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(1). Retrieved from • Pennsylvania State University. (2013). Online instructor performance best practices and expectations. Retrieved from • Taylor, S. A. (2013). Getting started teaching online. Retrieved from • University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2011a). Asynchronous vs synchronous communication. Retrieved from • University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2011b). Best practices for the asynchronous and synchronous classroom. Retrieved from