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Teaching Online: Advice From A Fellow Faculty Member

by Cindy O'Dell

Brandman University

Article excerpt

Teaching online prompts faculty member to write advice book

Taking a completely online class can be a case of sink or swim, says Jeffrey M. Welch, an adjunct professor in the School of Education. After more than nine years of teaching at Brandman in both blended and online classes, as well as seeing how online learning is moving into K-12 classrooms (Welch teaches history full time at Emilie J. Ross Middle School in Hughson, California, in the Central Valley), he decided it was time to share what he’s learned by writing a book.

Our take

Tips for Teaching Online

With more than nine years of online teaching experience, Jeffrey M. Welch thinks he knows a thing or two about how to do it well. Recently he decided to share his tips with others in a book, “Outside the Walls: A Practical Guidebook to Thriving in the Online Classroom.” Taking–or teaching–classes online is a decidedly different experience than taking classes in traditional settings. What do you, and your students, need to know to succeed in the online environment?

One of the greatest challenges in online teaching, and learning, is engagement. Communicating and collaborating in an asynchronous setting, and without the benefit of nonverbal cues, can be difficult. Welch shares strategies for minimizing these difficulties, including the importance of setting explicit expectations for interaction and modeling desired behaviors. Designing learning experiences for today’s students can be challenging, but there are a variety of techniques and tools that 21st century teachers can leverage.