Online Teaching: Gotta Love It

I’ve always loved teaching.

Yet, I also know that expectations regarding the classroom (and my role as teacher) are changing. When I arrived at Emory some 20 years ago, I mostly made use of chalk on a blackboard and overhead projectors – with course packets of readings photocopied for the students. Those days are long gone…

I expect that the things that have worked well for me in the past will continue to do so. Effective teaching strategies will still be effective. However, I also know that, in moving to online teaching, I have to develop new skills and strategies. It won’t be enough for me to coast along on what’s worked in the past.

Online teaching will obviously be a challenge. As the readings demonstrated, I have to adopt more roles than I did in the past. In fact, designing the syllabus for this online course requires me to think in a quite different fashion – as when I structure asynchronous material in 5 to 10 minute chunks (rather than an hour and a half lecture) or when I encourage student involvement and discussion while not in the same room as them.

Of course, there’s a bit more work involved in setting up my first online course, but that should make me love this course (which I’ve taught for years) even more.


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