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Whether or not you teach in a physical room or currently online, we live in a digital age, in which digital literacy is either highly desirable or essential for students’ studies and future careers.
Teaching face-to-face and teaching online are both teaching, but they are qualitatively different. In comparison, driving a car and riding a motorcycle are both forms of transportation, but they have enough differences to warrant additional training and preparation when switching from one to the other. The same is true when faculty move from the traditional classroom to the online classroom.
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If you’ve ever sat through hours of lectures with only a few page-turns in your textbook to entertain yourself, you’ll appreciate one advantage online learning has over brick-and-mortar classrooms: interactivity.
Online classes have evolved, and simply reading assigned content is a thing of the past. LMSs should allow for quizzes, discussion questions, and real-time features, like chat, to keep conversations lively and learning active.
The best online colleges will make content interactive whenever possible to help the learner to recognize what they are not quite understanding. That’s what we expect all IITAE online teachers to do, provide students with the best content with the best understanding possible.
1. Be respectful. While it is easier to say hurtful or disrespectful things without standing face-to-face with someone, it is important to remember that your classmates and teachers are real people who are affected by the words you say and write. It is essential to keep in mind the feelings and opinions of others, even if they differ from your own. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online either.
2. Be aware of strong language, all caps, and exclamation points. It is easy for written text to be misread and misunderstood. Have you ever sent a text message with good intent but your recipient thought you were being rude? If so, then you’ve experienced this firsthand. By being cognizant of strong language, you can identify potential confusions before sending messages. Tip: Read everything out loud before you send it.
3. Be careful with humor and sarcasm. Certainly you shouldn’t avoid being funny. We love to see your personality shine through in online classes. Many of our teachers are exceptionally funny too. But like mentioned in Rule #2, make sure that it is clear you are being funny and not being rude. Emoticons and smileys can be helpful when conveying humor or sarcasm so that it is read correctly. Just remember to keep the smiley faces away from academic papers. 😉
4. Yes, grammar and spelling matter. While texting, textspeak can b gr8 4 ur friends. In an educational setting (even online) however, keep it formal. Your written communication should be professional and reflect proper writing style. Save written shortcuts and less than stellar grammar for Snapchat if you must, but follow grammar rules for school.
5. Cite your sources. Whenever you are sharing an idea that originated from someone else (even if it is not word for word), it is good practice to cite that source. This applies to discussion forums too. If you read a great thought in your text, share it, but be sure you let your audience know where you saw it first.
6. Don’t post or share (even privately) inappropriate material. Enough said there. Nothing is truly private online.
7. Be forgiving. Remember that not everyone will know these rules before posting. Try to be understanding of others when they struggle with written communication. It is very different than simply talking to a person face-to-face.
Interactive Course Content
Interactive courses are more than just text on the screen and are more effective for students learning new material. Studies have shown that people learn better through different mechanisms and the Easy Course Creator allows you to deliver your course content through many different media including text, audio, video, animation, and interaction with the student.
Adding images and video to a course is as easy as attaching a file to an email or uploading images/video to your favorite social networking site. We’ve designed IITAE’s platform to give anyone with limited technical knowledge the ability to create rich interactive course content online quickly and easily! The following types of files that are able to be included in courses by default and more options can be added for you based on request/need.
File Types Supported by Default:
- PDF Documents
- Word Documents
- PowerPoint Slide Shows
- Excel Spreadsheets
- Windows Movie Files
- MPEG Videos
- FLV Videos
- Flash (SWF) Files
- MP3 Files
- Images (png, jpg, gif, bmp)