For some teachers, there are misconceptions about the process of teaching online. Some think teaching an online course is exactly the same as teaching in the classroom. Well, as a practitioner of both types of teaching I can attest that they are significantly different processes. So if you have never had the opportunity to be a student in an online course or have never had a mentor who can teach how to teach online then where do you gain the knowledge and skills?
There are few different answers to this question. You could go to school to learn this material. That’s what I did. However, if you don’t have the time to invest in that route, luckily there are many resources your can read that will help you develop and improve your skills. Today I came across one particularly good one. It is the Online Handbook for the University of Colorado Denver and it is available freely online.
It has four major sections: 1) trends and issues in online learning, 2) examples technology in action in online courses, 3) a brief overview of 25 emerging e-Learning tools that you can use in your teaching, and 4) additional resources for the online teacher.
This document is fantastic. It covers a wide breadth of topics from instructional design, multimedia, Web 2.0 tools, social networking, blogs, twitter, collaborative work online and has a significant amount of material on how to effectively use online discussion in your course.
If you are new or experienced in teaching online, this will be valuable reading. There is something in here for everyone.