5 Tips To Become An Effective Online Instructor
One of the most important factors that affect the overall online learning experience of students is how effective and engaged their online instructor is. Most of the time, online learners have certain expectations as to how the course would go and how they will be guided by their mentor. Especially to those who have never taken an online course, the expectations from the instructor is that they will be as hands on as teachers from traditional brick and mortar schools.
While this type of expectation is not applicable for online educators, though, it would be good for them to provide a level of assistance that will make their students feel that they are being given the appropriate amount of attention and guidance that will help them perform well and succeed in their online course. Here are some things online instructors would do well to have in order to maintain a satisfactory level of engagement among their learners:
Studies shows that the completion of online courses mostly depend on the instructor’s ability to provide timely assessments. When educators are able to return their students’ submitted coursework promptly, this motivates the students to do really well in the course and complete their course as soon as realistically possible.
It would be best to check assignments everyday and set one day each week for recording the grades and returning the assignments. Save answers to common questions and issues in a file and update this as new issues arise. You can then modify these when responding to individual students.
Although educators create paid online courses to be mostly self-sufficient, making learners feel that they have a mentor to support them can be very helpful in keeping them driven and engaged throughout the course. The absence of physical conversations make it all the more important for online instructors to communicate in a manner that will enable them to establish a genuine connection with their students. During your correspondence with your learners, whether it be via email, chat, or group forums, maintain a casual yet professional tone so you exude an impression that you are serious about the course yet you are approachable and that you have a true willingness to guide your learners.
Studying online courses can easily get demotivating if instructors are not careful how they provide feedback to their students. Without the facial expressions that are usually present in a face-to-face mentoring, a well-intended assessment can easily be misconstrued. It is therefore critical for online instructors to maintain a positive tone whenever they provide feedback to their students. While it is important for them to enumerate the opportunities for improvement of their learners, it is as important to communicate these in a constructive manner to keep their learners motivated and driven to do well in the course.
The evaluations provided by instructors play a significant part in their students’ improvement throughout the course. Make sure that each evaluation identifies opportunities for growth and ways to address them. Set clear steps that will result to a better performance from each student. These should be written in a constructive manner, one that will motivate them to cooperate and take your advice. These steps should also be practical and manageable, think progressive steps that will not overwhelm, but will set stages for improvement.
There will be times when there are too many questions or when students may seem to be a bit complacent. Even online instructors can get overwhelmed with the workload or with particular the challenges with some students. Having a great deal of patience will be crucial in helping instructors maintain their professionalism and optimism when communicating with their students.
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Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on creating online courses such as those offered by CourseMinded.com.
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