At Villanova, our educational experience is rooted in passionate, collaborative pursuit of knowledge and service to others. Villanova University is committed to quality distance education and supporting students' satisfactory and successful online learning experience.
Teaching online can be daunting to start with, but it will make you a better teacher in any setting and benefit your future teaching because of the explicitness of online instructions and efforts to build learning community for online teaching.
1. Communicate your course modality to students early. Reach out to inform students who may feel apprehensive about how your courses will be conducted. Communicate (syllabus, announcements) how the course has been structured and how student participation has been organized based on the teaching modality.
2. Seek to foster community among your learners. Achieving a balance between various types of activities asynchronously and synchronously within your core class structure will help ensure that students have varied opportunities for engaged learning, interaction, and reflection to support their learning experience. VITAL and UNIT team members can provide guidance regarding fostering community. Refer to Building Online Community of Inquiry and Building Community in the Zoom Classroom.
3. Select two to three online tools/activities in your course that align with your learning goals and assignments and support engaged student learning and continue to use them throughout the semester. Students need time and practice to become comfortable/confident using specific online tools.
4. Introduce students to resources for taking online classes (e.g., syllabus, as questions emerge), such as Preparing for Online Classes, Learning Remotely, and How to Contribute to Online Discussion Boards. Highlight opportunities for academic coaching.