Here are some of my favorite time-saving tips. Please add to them!
1. Create a "Welcome Letter" that not only introduces the instructor and the course but gives detailed instructions on how to access the course and where to get help. Here is our example from DE 101.
2. Create a comprehensive syllabus.
- Utilize a "Week Zero," a module that explains to new students how to be an online student and use the learning management system (LMS).
- Direct students to tech support and the help desk as much as possible.
- Create a course “scavenger hunt.”
4. Make your course easy to navigate.
- Keep as much content as you can no more than two clicks away.
- Use a consistent format week-to-week or module-to-module.
- Remove buttons or tools you are not using.
- Do not work on your online course because you can; work on it because you have scheduled the time.
- Let the students know your schedule.
- Access your course consistently (e.g. three times a week) and respond to email promptly (with-in 48 hours).
7. Automate your course as much as possible.
- Take advantage of the time-release feature of announcements.
- Record and reuse lectures.
- Let the LMS handle as much of the grading as you can.
- Use the assignment feature of your LMS instead of e-mail.
- Have the students attach documents to a forum posting.
- Use a discussion forum for “Frequently Asked Questions.”
- Create a FAQ page.
- Ask students to ask questions in the forum rather than e-mail.
- Let the students do the work.
- Do not respond to every posting, respond to the group deliverable.
12. Allow students to facilitate online discussions.
13. Use a detailed grading rubric to help answer questions in advance.
14. Encourage student-student interaction and study groups.
- Give them the space to solve problems.
What about you? How do you streamline your online teaching process? Leave a comment below if you have any time saving tips.