Week 2 Activities & Webinars

Objective: Decide how you will “build rapport” with your distance learners.

Please begin by reading and reviewing the topic  Connect with your learners

 Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Sessions

Use Human Touch to Engage Online Students

Resource: Using Human Touch-SloanC 

Online instructors first need to be engaged if they want their students engaged. Learn how “human touch” serves to get everyone engaged. Human touch is really all about creating and maintaining relationships. When students sense a trusting, caring relationship on the part of their instructor, students begin to perceive that their online experience is as much about them, or even more so, than the curriculum, projects, and test results. Students feel that their instructor is trying to establish a warm, supportive relationship, their sense of belonging and engagement increases. That’s just human nature. By Dr. John Thompson Dr. John Thompson is Associate Professor Emeritus at Buffalo State College. Although retired, Thompson continues teaching 100% online college courses for several higher education institutions, and has taught over 100 online courses since 2000. He also operates his own  training and consulting business – Global Learning Institute, Inc.


So how do teachers close the “distance” gap and build rapport?

Discussion on

  •  the importance of intro videos (can be simple….recorded with an iPhone or iPad) and provide 10 tips to recording to set the students up for success
  • Importance of responding to emails within 24 hours and tips for managing emails and diminishing the amount of technical questions through a robust student orientation (that the students have access to until the completion of the program)
  • Ideas for humanizing the online classroom and building community

By Dr. Melissa Kaulbach Dr. Kaulbach is currently the Sr. Director of Academic Services for Academic Partnerships and also serves as faculty at Sarasota University. She conducts faculty workshops for professional development on topics ranging from effective online pedagogy, instructional design, how to increase student engagement through robust online course design, and teaching online with technology. Dr. Kaulbach has been in the education industry for twenty four years. She has presented at numerous conferences and has served on university-wide committees Dr, Kaulbach served as the Chair for the 2012 Academic Partnerships Online Research Grant program. She is also the co-host of the Ed Tech Du Jour web show, which focuses on improving online instruction. Dr. Kaulbach earned her B.A. In Elementary Education & Music, her MEd in Instructional Leadership, and her EdD is in Educational Leadership.



Suggested Activity:   Record a sample intro video and and upload to your blog for peer review.


 The Art of Blogging: How to Connect, Interact, and Build Rapport with your Students

Experience how to blog to build rapport by connecting and interacting with others. Participants will reflect on how they can blog to build rapport with their students.

By Sue Waters

Sue Waters an Australian based in Perth, is married with two kids. While her work as an aquaculture lecturer earned her the coolest job title, her passion is the use of technology to enhance student learning. Sue’s technology use has changed considerably since she was first introduced to it’s potential in 2000; from a LMS (WebCT) to Virtual Classrooms (Elluminate), mobile technologies (spyglasses, PDAs, iPods) and Web 2.0 (blogs, wikis etc). Her passion has led to a transition from aquaculture lecturer, to facilitating professional development workshops on elearning and web 2.0 technologies, to her current role writing on The Edublogger and as Edublogs‘ Support Manager. Sue’s personal blog is also well known and as a blogger she  stands for — practical application of technologies in education, and most importantly HELPING OTHERS learn how to use these technologies.


Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education

Teaching online for the first time is a little like trying to drive a car in a foreign country. You know how to drive, just like you know how to teach, but it sure is hard to get the hang of driving on the left side of the road … you’re not quite sure how far a kilometer is … and darn it if those road signs aren’t all in Japanese. By Dr. Larry Ragan Dr. Lawrence C. Ragan has played a leadership role in the development of Penn State’s World Campus since the start of the initiative in 1998 serving as the Director of Instructional Design and Development, Director of Faculty Development, and most recently appointed as Co-Director of the Center for Online Innovation in Learning. Dr. Ragan presents internationally on the topics quality assurance online, instructional design, multimedia integration, faculty development programming, and instructional design for distance and blended education.


Weekly Roundup

Join our session of highlights from the week. Thursday September 19th, 1 pm- 2 pm, Hawaii Standard Time (HST). World Clock 


Create a sensemaking  artifact

  1. Pick and Choose.
  2. Remix and Re-purpose.
  3. Share.

 Discussion Questions

  1. What  tools/techniques/strategies/approaches are you considering to connect with your learners? How will your choices impact student engagement, intellectual development, and develop personal connections?
  2. Rapport is not something developed by announcement. Rapport is developed by actions—the results from things you do. How can you actively apply the following  5 factors to build rapport with your online students?
    1. Respect. Teachers and students must show respect for each other, for the learning process, and for the institution where it is occurring.
    2. Approachability. Students have to feel comfortable coming to faculty and faculty must be willing to speak with students, during office hours, via email, on campus.
    3. Open communication. Faculty must be honest. There needs to be consistency between what faculty say and what they do.
    4. Caring. Faculty must care about students; they must see and respond to them as individuals. They also need to care about learning and show that they want students to learn the material.
    5. Positive attitude. Faculty should have a sense of humor and be open to points of view other than their own.
  3. Describe the the challenges you have building rapport with online learners. Describe how you build rapport between yourself and your online students? Does it work? How do you know?
  4. Surprisingly, it’s often not the energy, the appearance, or the mannerisms of the teacher that make us want to listen and engage, it’s rather whether or not we felt connected. How do you invite  learners to connect with you in a shared mental space in ways that stimulates them to learn?

Activity Reflection

Please post a reflection that addresses what you did this week, why you did what you did, and what you would do differently in the future. Your reflection will be framed by three broad questions: What? So what? What now?

  1. What?
    1. Briefly describe what you did.
  2. So what?
    1. Describe why you did what you did. What are your feelings about what you did?
    2. How will this help you?
    3. What did you learn from the experience?
  3. What now?
    1. What changes did you make?
    2. What will you do differently in the future?
    3. What do you still have to learn?

Wear a hat when you comment

There are six different thinking roles you will be playing when you comment on artifacts.  The thinking roles are identified with a colored symbolic “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” you can easily focus your thoughts and comments about the artifact.

  1. The White Hat calls for information known or needed. “The facts, just the facts.”
  2. The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism. Under this hat you explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
  3. The Black Hat is judgment – the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Spot the difficulties and dangers; where things might go wrong. Probably the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem if overused.
  4. The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. When using this hat you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
  5. The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions.
  6. The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process.

Video of the week

Pink’s persuasive theory on what motivates us – in work, school and in our personal lives – is backed by four decades of solid scientific research on human motivation, and highlights an extreme mismatch between the human capital practices that businesses use that the practices that really work

Essential question: How can you help students to be motivated through Autonomy (self directed), Mastery (get better, it matters) and Purpose (greater good)?  


2 thoughts on “Week 2 Activities & Webinars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.