Given the differences between teaching face to face…

Given the differences between teaching face-to-face and teaching online, how can we faculty members capture the best parts of “what works” in their courses across different delivery modes? How can we demonstrate in online course delivery the characteristics of the most effective teachers? How can online faculty members best “make a difference” with their online students?
Most of the literature I read about on online pedagogy focuses on “best practices” (e.g., Keengwe & Kidd, 2010). Since the early days of online learning, there have been suggestions about how technologies can be used to enhance collaborative learning opportunities (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996). More recently, reviewers have identified several best practice principles related to communicating clear goals and expectations; incorporating multiple active learning opportunities; providing frequent, prompt, and constructive feedback; and creating teacher support resources (e.g., Berge, 2002; Grandzol & Grandzol, 2006; Puzziferro & Shelton, 2009).
All of these best practice suggestions make good sense and are useful for online teaching. These include efforts to provide constructive and individualized feedback to students; facilitating student interaction, involvement and learning; and paying attention to how a course is organized and how teacher presence is enhanced. In all of these efforts, exemplary teachers strive to convey their expectations for the students.
However, if becoming an outstanding teacher merely entails implementing recommended best practices, then there would be many more outstanding teachers than there currently are. Clearly, there are good and bad (or more and less effective) ways to implement these practices. There seem to be things that cannot simply be borrowed, copied, or plugged into courses. I am wondering what are these less tangible attributes that are the essential characteristics of the best teachers.
In addition to a focus on the use of specific tools or techniques, I would like to know more about the ways that online teachers can create the kinds of learning environments and experiences that characterize the best teachers.
Bernie McPherson

Week 1 Sept 12 Here is the Critical…

Week 1 Sept. 12. Here is the Critical Incident Questionnaire, designed by Stephen Brookfield. I use this in my traditional classrooms, and receive some excellent feedback. I use it to gauge my student learning, and also to improve my teaching practices. I would like to incorporate it for online use.

The Classroom Critical Incident Questionnaire – Stephen Brookfield
Please take about five minutes to respond to the questions below about this weekend’s class. Don’t put your name on the form – your responses are anonymous. If nothing comes to mind for any of the questions just leave the space blank. At the next class we will share the group’s responses with all of you. Thanks for taking the time to do this. What you write will help us make the class more responsive to your concerns.

At what moment in class this weekend did you feel most engaged with what was

At what moment in class this weekend were you most distanced from what was

What action that anyone (teacher or student) took this weekend did you find most
affirming or helpful?

What action that anyone took this weekend did you find most puzzling or confusing?

What about the class this weekend surprised you the most? (This could be about your own reactions to what went on, something that someone did, or anything else that occurs).

Please let me know what you think. Bernie