What makes a learning experience for online students truly remarkable? We recently surveyed a group of ASU faculty to identify course design and facilitation elements they believe help to create remarkable learning experiences for online students. For this article, we’ll review online teaching recommendations the faculty shared in the survey. An article on course design recommendations from ASU faculty is also available.

Online Teaching Recommendations:

  • Provide clear instructor communication
    • Model clear communication that creates a feeling of support.
    • Personalize communication that builds rapport with students.
  • Ensure availability and access to the instructor
    • Provide instructor availability in office hours.
    • Include contact information (email, phone, office hours) in the syllabus.
    • Consider the unique needs of online students.
  • Create a visible instructor presence
    • Encourage communication by offering help on a regular basis.
    • Personalize the course to give it a human feel.
    • Create short instructor videos on new course topics if they arise.
    • Respond to student communication positively to build rapport and trust.
    • Connect students to additional ASU services when needed.
    • Engage with the students in the course using social networking tools, discussions, or emails.
    • Provide reminders to students of important deadlines and/or class changes.
    • Communicate current events that are relevant to course topics.
  • Maximize the usefulness of your feedback
    • Provide timely feedback to student inquiries.
    • Provide quality, detailed feedback when grading.
  • Ensure Instructor Interaction in Discussions
    • Build community.
    • Actively engage in discussions to provide clarification and encourage dialogue between students.
  • Provide Consistency
    • Be consistent with grading, feedback, and facilitation.

What other online teaching practices do you think help to create remarkable online courses? Please share your recommendations in the comments.