We hope you are as excited as we are for classes to begin. For this week's Training Tip we wanted to provide you with a quick reference guide and remind you of some business items that can help you "establish a strong presence" early on in your online course.
- Communicate classroom norms and your expectations. Teach and re-teach over the next several weeks the responsibilities you expect students to take upon themselves (i.e. read announcements, discussion etiquette, instructor contact process, late work policy, honor code, etc).
- Contact missing students to encourage participation. You can check their login under Class Progress or whether they have participated in early discussions.
- Welcome and work closely with late add students. Post an announcement and set up expectations early.
- Submit first week's reflections to your TGL. You'll receive your first Weekly Reflection later in the week.
- Briefly respond to each student's introductory post and share your personality. While time-consuming, this is a critical step to establishing a presence and classroom expectations. Maintain that image throughout the course.
- Encourage students to update their I-Learn profile and picture. You may need to create a screencast video showing where they go to do that or share a screensteps article with them.
- Model ideal response time, behavior and tone in your discussion boards. Make sure you use conversational tone that is inviting, professional, friendly, and encouraging.
- Establish communication preferences. Share your contact info and invite students to contact you using those channels. Your options can include the I-Learn instant messenger, email, and phone.
- Inform students of other communication procedures. This includes the "Questions and Conversations" discussion board and any live video chats you may decide to host throughout the semester.
- Make connections between course content and gospel principles. Point out parallels and patterns and share your testimony. Encourage students to do the same.
- Communicate with students daily (except Sundays) to maintain positive rapport. You can do this through announcements or discussion boards. Emails and the instant messenger work well, but they don't help build a classroom presence as strongly.
- Challenge your students and establish high expectations for student work.
- Assist with I-Learn questions when possible. Refer students to the I-Learn 3 help guides and use them yourself.
- Remind students of assistance available through the Online Support Center (OSC). (866) 672-2984
- Pathway Instructors, know when to refer your students to the Pathway Support Center. Pathway Support Center or 1-855-994-6721 (US toll free)
- Pathway Advising is available to help support at-risk students. Learn more about when a student is determined to be "at-risk" and how to submit an advising referral.
If you have any questions or comments about this or future training tips, we encourage you to leave a comment below and our team will do our best to respond quickly.