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Guidelines for Online Teaching Success

By Mary Bart

Years ago at a faculty meeting Larry Ragan, PhD, director of Faculty Development for Penn State’s World Campus, was trying to soft-sell the idea of performance expectations for online faculty. He didn’t want the discussion to be misinterpreted as an indictment against their teaching style, but he also saw an opportunity to share proven practices for improving the online teaching and learning experience. Finally a senior faculty member grew tired of the tip-toeing around the subject and said, “If you don’t tell us what is expected, how will we know what to do to succeed?”

The faculty member’s point was well taken, and over the years Ragan and others on various committees at Penn State have worked to define:

Core competencies for online teaching success – Currently there are 28 competencies across the three main topic areas of technology, course administration, and pedagogy.

Online instructors’ performance expectations – Currently there are eight key performance expectations and a description of the associated behaviors.

Performance metrics – Although not all of the behaviors lend themselves to metrics, items such as feedback, availability and communication can be quantified.

“The online performance expectations are shared with online instructors as both a way to set the context for their online teaching experience and as a tool to help balance their own teaching expectations,” Ragan said. “They have been developed from almost 15 years of experience, best practices research, observations of what good instructors do, and student feedback.”

Continued at: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/distance-learning/guidelines-for-online-teaching-success/#continued

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