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Principles for Effective Online Teaching

March 20, 2012

Based on Chickering & Gramson’s (1987) popular framework for classroom teaching, this fantastic article breaks down online teaching to provide seven guidelines or principles that all online teachers should think about. They are:

  1. Instructors should provide clear guidelines for interaction with students.
  2. Well-designed discussion assignments facilitate meaningful cooperation among students.
  3. Students should present course projects.
  4. Instructors need to provide two types of feedback: information feedback and acknowledgment feedback.
  5. Online courses need deadlines.
  6. Challenging tasks, sample cases, and praise for quality work communicate high expectations.
  7. Allowing students to choose project topics incorporates diverse views into online courses.

While some of them might seem obvious, the article goes into some depth as to how these elements should be incorporated into online teaching and are a good starting point for evaluating and reflecting on your own online teaching practices. Reflective thinking is even more important when teaching online because much of what is taken for granted in the classroom needs to more explicit and thought out when teaching online.

More and more universities and colleges are moving toward online classes and there is an increasing need for instructors to reflect further as to how this affects their practices.

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