Our online teaching blog is full of content and articles about online teaching best practices and online teaching careers.

Dr. Dani Babb and other experienced guest educators share their best tips, tricks and advice to start, succeed and grow your career as an online instructor.

quick list of all posts in the online teaching blog

To many online students, the instructor is simply a person on the other side of the computer screen who they never see. The instructor grades the discussion posts, essays, and responds to student emails. It is rare the student and instructor speak on the phone and even more rare they ever see each other in person. Therefore, the lack of human interaction can become lost. As online instructor’s, it is necessary we show our human side in the classroom. Not only through being enthusiastic with the subject matter but showing our personal side as well.

Most of us have been subject to one. Many of us have performed one. All of us want to improve and act upon it. It’s the classroom observation. The classroom observation tool is rooted in educational reform and the musings of such thinkers as Frederick Taylor and Edward Thorndike. This scientific view of measuring teaching has survived decades of thought-leadership and, if executed well, can be a formative tool for teaching development and improvement. One should note that I deliberately used the word “formative” in that last sentence. As an administrator we should be viewing the action of performing an observation just like we do when we administer a formative assessment to a student—with the goal of assessing and improving teaching mastery. I am not advocating that

Today’s educational climate is a hot one with institutions of all types vying to enroll the highest number of students. Cutting edge programs, ones that will almost guarantee students careers after graduation, are being developed at a rapid rate. Innovative marketing draws attention to these programs along with the institutions themselves as they desperately try to keep up with the academic Joneses. The competition is fierce, that is certain, and those of us in higher education know we cannot forsake quality for quantity. How do we keep enrollment up while also adhering to high educational standards? One answer we’ve found at the small, liberal arts college where I work is the implementation of flex courses.

Are you considering writing more this year? Do you wish to become a published author? If so, check out my Coauthoring: A Pathway to Publication article. If you read that and/or are already on you path to publication, I have some tips for you to become a better writer this year. This can help for both academic and nonacademic writing.

Frozen in Time

Are you a doer? Or do you sit back and wish you can do something but are afraid, unsure, or lack the confidence? Many of us are afraid to take those steps needed to get us started on a new career, launch our business, or dive into a new opportunity. Some of us sit in the shadows and wish we can be like those “successful” people. Others even talk themselves out of it! I used to be one of those people that wished someday I can do great things such as, become a speaker, a researcher, a writer, or open my own business. I mean, puny me? I thought I was meant to be someone’s right hand didn’t realize I can be the right hand! I listened to some of my colleagues, friends and even family members who are so intimidated by taking on a new opportunity that they become frozen in time.

In developing a quality curriculum, keep in mind one simple word: Excellence. Ensuring that quality throughout the curriculum ensures that your students are learning the best possible content in the most efficient and effective manner. If quality and meeting outcome measures are vital for programmatic success, why aren’t more curricula developed with quality as a primary focus? Quality measures should never be afterthoughts, instead, as each course is built, there should a concerted effort to clearly identify the quality measures not only in the individual course, but how those measures of excellence build upon one another to optimize student learning. Providing a current and meaningful curriculum should be the primary goal of every educator, regardless of age or subject taught.

As we embark upon 2017, I wish you much success in all aspects of your life. I know many of you are seeking ways to improve financially so I would like to share some basic financial tidbits that I used to stabilize my finances and achieve some major goals. If you are already steering your course, great for you!

First, nothing works without commitment. With commitment comes the mindset that sets you up for success. Success then brings the peace of mind that you wanted to achieve. Commitment can sometimes be scary, but as the saying goes, to eat an elephant; you have to bite one piece at a time. So my first piece of advice is to start small and pace yourself. As you a hit a milestone, make the next milestone bigger. This applies to both saving and spending.

So where do you start? Let’s begin by establishing your goals, i.e, goal setting. The main teaching is that your plan of action  should be setting “SMART” goals. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.