Week 2 discussion
What do you think your students will expect from you as their online instructor?
In the article “Guidelines for Online Teaching Success” by Mary Bart, the author restates some very specific performance criteria for online faculty that were develop by Penn State World Campus and presented by the director of faculty development, Larry Ragan. At first, I found it reassuring to know that competencies as well as performance expectations have been addressed and are available for others to incorporate into their own guidelines and best practices. After a closer review, I realized that this criteria was very vague with many details left to the discretion of the online instructor and institute or school district.
The performance expectations that are worthy of mention are in the areas of Preparation, Communication and Feedback. Clear expectations were outlined in these areas and include being “operationally proficient” and “prepared with the skills to teach online”. Also instructors are expected to “provide prompt feedback”, “Actively participate in course-related discussions and activities where appropriate” and “Clearly communicate student expectations.”
After reviewing “Five expectations Students have…”, I compared the two sets of criteria and found the student expectations far more realistic and helpful from an online teachers perspective. Availability, Professionalism, Guidance, Experience and Technological aptitude are a true indication of what our audience needs from us in order to be successful in the online learning environment. This criteria can be developed and demonstrated in specific course instruction, syllabi, and guidelines that can then be clearly communicated to the participants in the first week(s) of the online course. I believe this illustrates how important it is to properly identify and acknowledge our audience when developing our online presence.