While always an essential part of the University's mission, online learning has become even more important in light of our new Quality Enhancement Plan and the RU Global initiative.
For those new to online teaching, it is important to understand that the differences in face-to-face (traditional) teaching and online teaching extend beyond the physical separation of students and teacher.
In the online course, the manner in which your instruction is arranged and delivered directly affects how your students go about learning. There is no one standing in front of them directing, explaining, and counseling them as they learn and grow; therefore each step in the learning process must be carefully planned. Instructional pieces must be arranged in a friendly and logical manner for the learner, as there is no one physically present to direct learning. In the online learning environment, it is of paramount importance to think about how the students will learn your content, not just how you will teach it.
In many cases, courses are hybrids, that is, courses meet regularly on-campus, but include assignment, interactions, and communication online as well. For these courses, Blackboard (Regent's Learning Management System) can help to facilitate administrative functions, leaving more time in the classroom for interaction and discussion.
To assist faculty with online teaching, the University has extensive resources and programs available on course design, Blackboard, educational technologies (Podcasting Express!), pedagogical methods, and rubrics. The QM rubric will help you build your course according to essential online learning standards based on sound learning theory. Please take advantage of these learning opportunities to continuously improve your online teaching skills.