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Bad Online Instruction, how it taught me to be a better online instructor. Fred Hills Richard Leslie McLennan Community College. Introduction. Background Online courses fastest growing sector on campus Student attrition rates high in online classes (35\%+)

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bad online instruction how it taught me to be a better online instructor

Bad Online Instruction, how it taught me to be a better online instructor

Fred Hills

Richard Leslie

McLennan Community College

introduction
Introduction
  • Background
    • Online courses fastest growing sector on campus
    • Student attrition rates high in online classes (35%+)
    • Growing interest in student learning outcomes (SLO)
    • Most research focuses on positive, little on the negative factors and their impact on SLOs
  • Why the topic?
    • What are the negative aspects of online instructions
    • What are the differences in faculty and students on these factors
    • What impact do these have on student learning
quick survey
Quick Survey
  • How many teach online?
  • How many taken online courses?
  • What is your worst online course experience as a student?
  • What is your best online course experience as a student?
  • What impact did either have on your online teaching experience?
our study
Our Study

Action Research using Qualitative Methodology:

  • Typological study of Student Feedback
    • Student feedback on seven semesters of Student Evaluations of Online courses (1060+ comments)
  • Survey of Online Faculty (25% Response)
    • How many courses taken online
    • How many course taught online
    • Negative and positive experiences online
    • Impact on their instruction
  • Panel Discussion with Faculty
    • Experiences from learning and teaching online
    • Impact of negative experiences on online course development
our findings
Our Findings
  • 6 major themes emerged
    • Instructor Feedback
    • Course Organization
    • Instruction/Guidance
    • Addressing Learning Styles
    • Interpersonal Communication in the Course
    • Technology
slide7
Instructor Feedback“I never got an answer to almost 3/4's of my e-mails. We (all the students) needed more help and the instructor never replied. Need teacher response in a timely fashion, and need teacher response period!”
  • Few or no replies to questions
  • Lack of communications on assignments
  • Little or no feedback on grading
  • Little or no instructor presence in online forums
course organization this class lacked any structure
Course Organization”This class lacked any structure”
  • Confusing or conflicting due dates
    • Where do I start?
    • Calendar?
    • Timeline?
  • Confusing Course Navigation
    • Non functional links
    • Blocked links
    • Wrong links
  • Confusing or no structure
  • Lack of logic in the layout of the course
  • Wrong textbook and/or materials
  • Outdated textbook and/or materials
instruction guidance what s covered in the instruction was not always what was asked in the exams
Instruction/Guidance”…what’s covered in the instruction was not always what was asked in the exams.”
  • Non communicated course expectations
  • Lack of clarity
  • Lack of direction
  • Lack of thoroughness
  • Concerns with testing
    • Testing did not match objectives
    • Too many assessments
    • Timing of assessments
addressing learning styles course needs different types or styles of activities
Addressing Learning Styles“…course needs different types or styles of activities”
  • Correspondence course – did not engage different learning styles
  • Tried to force Teacher Centric in a Learner Centric environment
  • Passive text based course – only mode of delivery
  • Limited or no use of video/voice medias
  • Lack of variety in course work/projects/assignments
slide11
Interpersonal Communication in the Course“…need a more approachable instructor, with logical explanations that are NOT intent to make the student feel dumb or like a screw up.”
  • Student did not connect with the class
  • Incorrect or misunderstood tone
  • Mismatched teams/groups
  • No discussion forums or student ties
  • Rude communication

“…the instructor showed 'disdain' by the wording of replies to e-mails. If I e-mail someone - I am going to take a few seconds extra to be courteous online”

slide12
Technology“I tried to access the presentations from three different computers and was unable to get them to play”
  • Inaccessible technology
  • Skill level required to high for student
  • CMS failings/limitations
  • Non functional Chats/Discussion Boards/Tools
  • Multimedia for multimedia sake
impact on students
Impact on Students
  • Student overwhelmed or underwhelmed
    • Student gives up and drops out
    • Student fails to engage the material
    • Student loses interest in the topic
    • Student loses interest in education
slide14
Impact on Instruction“The online course I took completely informed me on the creation of my first online course”
  • Integrate feedback loops
  • Establish expectations on communications
    • Frequency
    • Means
    • Response time
  • Ensure quick feedback and turn around on assignments and grading
  • Give step-by-step instructions for assignments
  • Provide examples or models of the finished assignments
  • Keep courses up-to-date
  • Ensure consistency and ease of navigation
impact on instruction my goal is to make my courses better than the ones i took
Impact on Instruction“My goal is to make my courses better than the ones I took”
  • Provide student the flexibility and access to work ahead
  • Include variety of learning techniques
  • Embed extra point opportunities in the notes and reading assignments.
  • Put effort into designinglearning around student learning styles
  • Use collaborative assignments
  • Take into consideration those who use dial up
  • Focus on pedagogy before technology
    • Use newest inventions only if they contribute to learning
    • Deploy media appropriately in the course – in support of learning objectives
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Seek student feedback throughout the course and adjust accordingly
  • Recognize technology is a means and not an end
  • Better select and prepare instructors for online teaching
  • Provide online experience to online instructors
  • Do not “rest on your laurels”: regularly reassess your own delivery
  • NEXT STEP: Quantify impact of negative factors on student retention
contact information
Contact Information

Fred Hills

Program Director

CIS & Multimedia

[email protected]

Richard Leslie

Instructional Designer

Center for Instructional Design

[email protected]

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