Chapter 21 Online Interaction
21.1 Online Chat (All-Day)
For classes meeting at least partially in an online environment, instructors can simulate the benefits gained by a chat-room discussion (more participation from reserved instructors) without requiring everyone to meet in a chat room for a specific length of time. The day begins with a post from the instructor in a discussion board forum. Students respond to the prompt, and continue to check back all day, reading their peers’ posts and responding multiple times throughout the day to extend discussion.
21.2 Online Chat (Quick)
To gauge a quick response to a topic or reading assignment, post a question, and then allow students to chat in a synchronous environment for the next 10 minutes on the topic. A quick examination of the chat transcript will reveal a multitude of opinions and directions for further discussion. In online environments, many students can “talk” at once, with less chaotic and more productive results than in a face-to-face environment.
21.3 Online Evaluation
For those teaching in online environments, schedule a time which students can log on anonymously and provide feedback about the course and your teaching. Understand, however, that anonymity online sometimes breeds a more aggressive response than anonymity in print.
21.4 Pre-Class Writing
A few days before your computer-mediated class begins, have students respond in an asynchronous environment to a prompt about this week’s topic. Each student should post their response and at least one question for further discussion. During the face-to-face meeting, the instructor can address some of these questions or areas not addressed in the asynchronous forum.
21.5 E-Mail Feedback
Instructor poses questions about his teaching via e-mail; students reply anonymously.