Who Should Teach Online

A great online teacher is usually a great teacher in other settings. Teaching online requires a willingness to communicate with students and develop relationships through the use of information technology. Concise writing skills, paying close attention to words rather than gestures, and being available through multiple modes of technology make teaching online a rewarding experience.

Teaching online requires dedication, attention to detail, and imagination. Not every student is suited to online learning, so your patience will be tested!

The instructor's role changes in online education. Discussion threads, chat, blogs, and wikis make writing skills a central theme. You should be able to write clearly and be able to communicate your intent and meaning without appearing challenging or adversarial. A good online instructor can project their personality through written communications to relay a feeling of having a "real person" teaching the class.

Ask yourself:

  1. Do you feel comfortable using a computer?
  2. Can you change document formatting easily; font, paragraph style, etc?
  3. Are you proficient in searching & identifying appropriate web resources for your discipline?
  4. Are you comfortable learning and using new technologies?
  5. Are you able to guide and focus discussion, and integrate ideas?
  6. Can you spend several hours working online on a regular basis?

Techniques and teaching methodologies that work will with online instruction:

  • can manage technological challenges
  • provides detailed written instructions that are interesting and clear
  • can access, evaluate and make web resources available to students
  • available to students through communication technologies
  • facilitates online discussions well
  • can manage group learning and collaborative activities

Who should NOT teach online:

  • faculty who never return assignments
  • faculty who fail to provide feedback on projects
  • faculty who refuse to get grades in on time
  • faculty who suffer from indifference to the variety of student learning styles and needs

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