This six-week course is designed to give professors the tools and experience they need to be more effective online instructors. I use an evidence-based approach to explore topics such as student engagement, technology tools, and assessment strategies with the goal of helping participants understand the unique challenges and opportunities afforded by online education.
Much of the class involves the use of an online discussion board wherein participants discuss prompts generated by their fellow classmates. I maintain an active presence in the discussion board throughout the class, as a way of not only helping keep my students engaged but demonstrating discussion board best practices as well. By the end of the six weeks, participants often report in their self-reflections that the class had a transformative effect not only on how they view online education, but their own face-to-face instruction as well.
Course Activity: Create a Self-Introduction PowerPoint (PDF) One of the first assignments our participants receive, which helps everyone in class get to know each other as well as help us make sure all our students are properly following instructions. Students post these on our discussion board which often leads to many different social connections being made in class as well.
This is a set of principles I wrote to help course designers create an online course that is effective for them as well as their students.
Every week the POI Participants have an assignment, and the instructions are given in video as well as written form. This allows students to engage with the material in a manner best suited to them.
We use tools such as Diigo to help participants organize information in class as well as in their own professional lives.
The following reflection is an example of what our students produce at the end of their six weeks in our POI class.