Online Teaching – As Satisfying As Face To Face?

August 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

I recently overheard an instructor say that he does not want to teach online classes because he would miss the interaction with his students. My first thought was that if you are not interacting with your students in an online class then you are doing something wrong. The level of interaction betyween myself and my students has really skyrocketed over the last two years, to the point where students comment on how effective I am as an instructor despite the fact that we do not see each other on a daily basis.
I have started to use Facebook group pages as a way to increase interaction. It’s a great place to post supplementary information, photos, and videos. My students use it to ask each other questions and to provide support. It’s also nice to have a backup site to communicate through in case the course server crashes.
I chose Facebook because an overwhelming majority of my students use Facebook. I have found that students are much more likely to check their Facebook account than they are to check their email.
My class has an in-person orientation that I use to help build a connection with my students, and I also host a face-to-face review session prior to the midterm and final exams. The level of interaction in those sessions is very high, often much more interactive than a traditional classroom.
So, if you are unsure about teaching online because of the lack of contact, please consider it. The level of contact and interaction depends completely upon you. The contact and interaction are there, just in a different format.

How do you increase the interaction in your online classes? Please comment or alert me to a website detailing your strategies.

– George

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Entry filed under: Math, Online Education. Tags: , , , , , .

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