Managing your course once it begins
Whether you're a new or an experienced online instructor, it can be helpful to have a calendar or checklist of the pre-term and ongoing administrative tasks for the course.
Checklist for your first semester teaching online
The following is an overview of some of the key steps for a typical online course.
Before class begins
- Review your course in Carmen: Check that your content is all in the course and properly set up. Also be sure to verify links and due dates.
- Week 1 introduction: Record a Week 1 video or audio introduction, and write a Week 1 message in the question-and-answer discussion area.
- Welcome announcement: Post a welcome announcement as a news item on the course home page.
The first days of class
- About me: Post your “About me” message on Day 1; follow up at the end of the “About me” thread after most or all students have responded.
- Tracking students: Contact any student who has not logged in to your course in Carmen; follow up with your academic unit, if necessary. Also reach out to any students who are not yet participating actively.
Throughout the course
- Weekly video or audio introduction: Record a 1-minute introduction for each week at the end of the preceding week, and post a text version in the question-and-answer discussion area. Use student progress, discussions, and so on as a basis for your message.
- Updating weekly overviews and announcements: If you make any changes to activities or assignment due dates, be sure to post an announcement. Let students know of any changes you make to the Carmen course while the semester is in progress.
- Guiding discussions: Check the weekly Questions thread often. Monitor the discussion area and participate as needed to guide discussions. Wrap up discussions as they reach a good stopping point for reflection.
- Communicating with students: Respond to student e-mails within 1 business day. Establish office hours when students can reach you by phone, CarmenConnect, or quick email.
- Grades and feedback: Try to return feedback and grades on student assignments within 1 week of submission.
When the course ends
- End-of-course survey: Remind students to complete the SEI and the distance-education survey, if one is included for your course.
- Calculate final grades. Use Carmen Gradebook to calculate final grades and submit them. See the ODEE Resource Center for more information.
- Review and reflect on your course: Look back through your course in Carmen and make note of changes you made or revisions you intend to make
Managing your work load
Managing Online Instructor Workload, Simone C O Conceição; Rosemary M Lehman (print book and e-book available from University Libraries)
This short book talks about how online courses involve more work in some areas and less in others compared to a face-to-face course. The authors offer suggestions, some related to course design and others about online time-management strategies.
Remember to utilize the distance education resources listed in the Support section.