Wednesday, March 20
11:30-11:45 AM
Wilshire A

Making a Seamless Transition to Online Teaching: Best Practices for Charting your Course in New Waters

Best Practices ID: 54118
  1. aaa
    Laura Gray
    University of the West Indies

Abstract: This session is intended to teach new online instructors how to build successful, interactive, and human online course spaces. In the last fifteen years, online education has become a viable alternative for busy traditional and non-traditional students, as well as for those for whom traveling long distances may be problematic. With this shift to online teaching and learning have come issues such as student motivation, readiness, and expectations; but more importantly, instructors have had to redesign the way that they teach and respond to their students. In addition, many instructors who are not digital natives have been fearful of making the change from face-to-face to online teaching when faced with the "technology gap" that has resulted from computer applications, learning management systems, and general online technology constantly growing and changing. Therefore, it is imperative that new online instructors understand concepts such as the basic differences between traditional and online teaching and learning, the importance of organizing oneself and one's courses, teaching effectively in this new platform, humanizing the online course space, and understanding recent trends, issues, and research in the field.


In this session, learners will: 1. Identify differences between face-to-face and online teaching and learning 2. Discuss mental and physical obstacles to transitioning to online teaching, a well as ways to overcoming these obstacles 3. Analyze best practices for use in online teaching 4. Evaluate methods for engaging learners in the online forum 5. Discuss the four components of instructor responsibility in the online teaching arena 6. Explore innovative methods of time management suited specifically to online instructors 7. Compare and contrast attitudes of digital natives and non-digital natives about online teaching and learning

Topical Outline

1. Discussion of traditional F2F teaching methods vs. online teaching methods 2. Components to transition from F2F to online teaching 3. Overcoming physical and mental obstacles when making the transition 4. Attitudes of veteran teachers vs. novice teachers about online teaching and learning 5. The importance of learner engagement in the online arena 6. Best practices for promoting learner engagement online 7. The four components of responsibility 8. Best practices when teaching online 9. Time management for the online instructor 10. Attitudes of digital natives vs. non-digital natives regarding online teaching and learning (and how to deal with them!) 11. Wrapping up (discussion throughout)


Ideally, those who register for this workshop should have had experience teaching face-to-face and should either anticipate, or should have begun, teaching coursxes online.

Experience Level



Dr. Gray has been an educator for the past 25 years. Her first taste of online teaching came in 1997 when the public school where she was teaching became one of the first "Net Schools" in the United States, and she and her colleagues were asked to use the Internet to prepare weekly lessons and deliver them online to their students. After teaching in the public school system for 15 years, she obtained her Ph.D. in instructional design with an emphasis in online learning and has taught exclusively online ever since. She has developed a variety of courses and webinars and teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in instructional design, distance education, and psychology. Dr. Gray's research is focused primarily in the realm of online learning and engaging online learners, and she has given numerous workshops and presentations on the subject.
No presider for this session.


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