Introducing being present in your online teaching
When we teach in person, we intuitively understand that we must be with our students in the classroom to teach effectively. It would never occur to us that we could teach students without being with them in the classroom.
The same understanding has not necessarily manifested itself in our online teaching. Online classes suffer from a well-earned reputation of being like a slow cooker: set and forget. Perhaps because so much work goes into creating a robust and effective online class, instructors seem to think they do not need to interact with students on a weekly, even daily, basis.
However, online courses require deliberate attention to all three potential relationships in the course: the one that teacher has with the students, the one that students have with the teacher, and the one that students have with each other. In an online classroom, students are more likely to be completing their work in isolation, often only with their computer and without realising the presence (or absence) of teacher or fellow students. In an in-person class, the people are clearly visible in the room. But just as our students in person need us to be there with them, to guide and facilitate their learning, so also our online students need us to be present with them, albeit in different ways, to guide their learning as well.
What are your experiences of teaching online?
Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.