Tips for Net teachers
There’s a lot you need to think about when you start to use Web support in teaching. The roles of both teachers and teaching methods often change.
If the course is a distance course, you should also think about how students should be able to collaborate or gather via e-meetings in order to give them a bit of the classroom feeling.
Below we list some important things to consider for both campus and distance courses.
Clarity, motivation, and rules
- Be clear in your communication. Not all students are used to studying at a university or using the Web in their courses.
- Discuss the “communication rules.” Inform students about how you want them to contact you. Instead of e-mail, many teachers choose to communicate with students via messages on bulletin boards or via discussion forums.
- Inform them also how often you log in as a teacher and how often you expect them to log in. For example, you can have a reception period when you guarantee that you will be logged in and will answer questions.
- It’s important to have assignments with deadlines early in the course, preferably of the types that require students to work together via the course site.
- Keep an eye on the tone of discussions and chat rooms. Refer students to sites like the UpUnet-S review of so-called netiquette.
- Before you start to upload images and other material on the Net, find out whether you are allowed to do so.
- Government authorities have entered an agreement with Bonus Presskopia about a certain amount of copying of copyright material for distribution in teaching. The agreement does not confer the right to publish such material on the Web, in Student Portal, for instance.
- For publication on the Web, special permission is required from the holder of the copyright. Requests for such permission may be directed to the author and/or the publisher of the work.
- Tips about how to go about requesting permission for publication are available on the Bonus Presskopia home page: http://www.bonuspresskopia.se/texter/read.php?mid=655
- If the course contains Web pages, you need to remember to avoid long texts, as it is tiresome to read large amounts of text on the screen.
- Make your Web pages dynamic and use them to introduce and complement sessions and course reading by mixing text and images, links, and audio files.
Evaluate the course
- Evaluate the course as it progresses. Ask how students feel using the Web in teaching is going, in a discussion forum, for example.
- If you are uncertain, ask for help and guidance from educational developers: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Be active on the Net...
- If the teacher is not present on the Net, the students probably won’t be either. Discussion forums are a good way to get students involved.