Teaching in an online environment has required that I really consider how to engage
students from a distance. This has meant looking at user-friendly technologies for
both me and my students, evaluating the appropriateness of traditional pedagogy, and
looking at learning from the online students' perspective. The results have been a
pleasant surprise in that engaged students do a great job in class, they report getting
to know their classmates at least as well as they did in the traditional classroom,
and I feel that same student-teacher connection that I've enjoyed in the classroom.
As an added benefit, I've noticed that my in-class teaching has improved as a result
of the online course development and delivery.
Instructors teaching online courses tend to be those leading-edge teachers that really
value teaching and student learning. They spend a lot of time considering the best
ways to make your online learning experience as engaging and effective as possible.
We online instructors also talk to each other to learn those 'best practices' that
help to make our online courses as effective as possible. You can't beat the convenience
factor, and given the numerous technologies available today, you will most likely
find that your teacher is as available as any in a traditional classroom...a real
win-win for everybody!