One myth concerning online courses is that they are easier to develop and less time-consuming to teach than face-to-face classes.
In fact, during the design phase, courses can take up to 100 hours of instructor time to develop the course material into a format that makes sense in the eLearning environment. At UAF eLearning, you will work with an instructional designer who will guide and assist you through this process.
Online teaching requires continuous instructor dedication and focus on the student experience as well. This is one of the reasons UAF eLearning uses an instructor-led model for our courses.
What is required to be an excellent online teacher?
Unlike in face-to-face classes, key elements of excellent instruction must be accomplished through the use of technology and often without ever meeting students in person.
The excellent online instructor must:
- understand how teaching online is different;
- they must be committed to engaging students through discussion and community development;
- they must provide rapid and constructive feedback to students;
- they must be open, flexible, and responsive;
- and they must establish a presence in the course early on and encourage students to do the same.
Teaching online can be a very rewarding experience. You should have some level of comfort with technology but you don’t need to be a technology expert to be an excellent online instructor.
Palloff, R. and Pratt, K. (2010) The Excellent Online Instructor: Strategies for Professional Development, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p.176.