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May 2013

Anticipate the Flow of the Semester

Use the semester calendar to your advantage. Each semester or term will have published dates and events that you should use in your planning. Holidays and events impacting both the students and you should be considered when looking at Due Dates and required responses from you. Review your professional schedule as well. You probably know specific dates (conferences or other professional obligations) that will impact your ability to grade or respond to students. Block out dates that will impact your ability to respond, give the type of feedback you wish, and/or require grading. Design the flow of your course around these dates.

Build in Breathing Space

Intentionally design some time over the semester where you have some time without obligations to your online courses. These dates allow you to collect yourself and resume the hectic pace of online instruction.

Plan Holistically

You probably are not teaching a single online course with no other obligations. Most likely, you have multiple courses and multiple obligations. Although routines are a comfort, there is no hard and fast rule that all discussion threads must be due on the same night from multiple courses. If you have three courses and make all initial postings due on Wednesday, you have obligated yourself to a great deal of reading and responding for a specific point in time. Spread a portion of these obligations across the week and across courses.

Seek Balance

Try to achieve a balance of group and individual assignments. Group assignments and postings will require fewer communications from you in most cases.

Let the Technology do a Portion of the Work

Use the tools found within the system to do some of the work.

  • Use the Test feature to do a potion of the grading or set self-assessments that are graded by the system.
  • Learn to set Categories and Due Dates in order to Sort and Filter Grade Center to minimize scrolling and searching.
  • Use the Announcement feature and specific Forums to "write once so many can read."
  • Use the grading feature for Tests, Assignments, and Forums to automatically post grades in Grade Center.

page last updated 10/1/2015 1:10 PM