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Monday, October 25, 2010

Teaching Online Courses – 60 Great Resources

I received an inquiry about resources that would help instructors who are about to move into teaching online courses.  It made me immediately think back to my first experience with an online session. 

It was the first ever public session for Placeware - a virtual meeting software company that was much later acquired by Microsoft and became Microsoft Live Meeting.  Because it was their first ever public session and my first ever online session neither of us knew what we were doing.  The topic was roughly (surprise) New Technology for eLearning.  They had 100 people participating.  And because it was public they made sure that everyone was muted including the moderator.

So we start the session and I’m sitting alone in front of my computer at Loyola Marymount (this must be before 2000).  I was holding my handset to my ear (no headset in my office).  And I had prepared the way I always did at that point for live, in-person audiences.  Remember I taught class several times a week to live audiences, and this was a topic that I presented all the time at professional conferences.  No problem, right?

I was not at all prepared for what I experienced.  About five minutes into the presentation, with me alone in my office, and everyone muted (literally there is zero sound coming back through) and no prepared stopping points for interaction.  Well any good presenter who faces an audience that is completely quiet, sitting still knows they are dying.  And I felt like I was completely dying.  There was zero feedback.  I felt my energy level get used up completely.  I was doing everything I could to make it more interesting, but no matter how much passion I put into the phone – no reaction.  Panic set in roughly 7 minutes into the presentation!

After that experience, I vowed to try to stink up virtual presentations less in the future.  And every once in a while, I realize that I’m not doing a good job.  It definitely takes additional thinking/preparation to be good online. And that’s only a single session.  If you are going to teach a course online or run an online learning event or an online conference, then there’s even more to being successful at that.

So, what I thought I would do is go back and see what resources I could find some good resources that would help me and could be used by instructors be better prepared to teach online.  What a difference a decade makes – now there’s almost TOO much information.

As always I do this by looking through eLearning Learning and related sites like Communities and Networks Connection.   I looked at Virtual Classroom, Distance Learning, ILT, Teaching Distance Learning.  I also did some quick searches for various kinds of things and added them into eLearning Learning (via delicious).  So together, I’ve collected a bunch of resources pretty quickly.  That said, there’s so much already out there on this – I’m at this point not quite sure what the real question was/is.  Certainly a lot of this is already findable.  I hope this is useful.  But I think the problem at this point might be something else.  Still here are 60 great resources.


By going to one of these on Amazon – you can easily find a TON of additional books.

  1. Engaging the Online Learner: Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction (Jossey-Bass Guides to Online Teaching and Learning)
  2. Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies for the Virtual Classroom (Jossey Bass Higher and Adult Education Series)
  3. The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips
  4. Essential Elements: Prepare, Design, and Teach Your Online Course
  5. Making the Move to eLearning: Putting Your Course Online
  6. Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to

Side note – one of the cool things is that one of these book recommendations came because my delicious activity (related to eLearning) auto-tweets and someone saw my tweets and then put in a recommendation to their book on the subject.  I would guess that’s an automated search or something – but still very smart way to market/PR.

Teaching Online

  1. Top 10 Best Practices for Teaching Online- Litmos, The Secret of Delivering Outstanding Virtual Classroom Training by Frank Gartland- Ignatia Webs, April 15, 2008
  2. Live online learning – a free download- Clive on Learning, October 13, 2009
  3. The Agile Elearning Design Manual - Why Synchronous Learning makes so much sense today- Free as in Freedom, July 21, 2009
  4. Using Teleseminars For Training- The eLearning Coach, September 7, 2010
  5. Faculty Training for Online Teaching
  6. Better Beginnings: How to Capture your Audience in 30 seconds - webinar by Carmen Taran- Free as in Freedom, January 28, 2010
  7. Progressing towards onlignment- Clive on Learning, August 14, 2009
  8. What Makes A Successful Online Facilitator?
  9. 13 Tips for Virtual World Teaching
  10. Preparing Teachers to Teach Online
  11. Tips and Tricks for Teaching Online: How to Teach Like a Pro!
  12. Online Teachers: Instructions - Online Pedagogy/Teaching Tools
  13. How to facilitate synchronous learning for real and virtual learners using technology?- IDiot, March 28, 2010
  14. Key Steps to Preparing Great Synchronous Interactions- Experiencing eLearning, April 1, 2010
  15. NEA's Guide to Teaching Online (PDF)
  16. Web meetings, webinars and virtual classrooms compared- Onlignment, August 21, 2009
  17. Tips For Making Virtual Classroom Sessions More Interactive | Mobile Technology in TAFE, November 21, 2008
  18. Perceived Advantages and Disadvantages- MinuteBio, March 24, 2009
  19. Rubrics for WebLessons
  20. Promoting Distance- Learning Technology Learning, September 24, 2010
  21. Cheating in Online Courses- eLearning Acupuncture, April 28, 2010
  22. Changing Roles for Educators (CCK08: Paper 2)- Learnadoodledastic, November 10, 2008
  23. Rubrics for Web Lessons
  24. Faculty Training for Online Teaching
  25. Preparing Instructors for Quality Online Instruction
  26. Converting Instructor-Led Training to E-learning or Distance Learning: Keys to success- Bottom-Line Performance, April 30, 2010
  27. Building Student Engagement in Online Courses- April 15, 2009
  28. How do I learn to teach online?- eLearning Acupuncture, September 9, 2009
  29. 5 Easy Tips for Teaching Online Courses- Learning Putty, January 18, 2010
  30. Online Games for Teaching Business Concepts and Ideas- Kapp Notes, October 16, 2009
  31. Online Success - a recipe for learners and facilitators- Designed for Learning, February 14, 2010
  32. 5 laws of human nature and online collaborative communities- Thinking Cloud, December 18, 2009
  33. 37signals’ Idealogy Meets Online Training (Part 1): Meetings are Toxic- Mindflash, August 24, 2010
  34. Teaching online forces better pedagogy- Learning Conversations, September 16, 2009
  35. 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story (Alan Levine)- ZaidLearn, December 16, 2007
  36. The power of Voice in online classrooms- eLearning Acupuncture, May 31, 2010
  37. The Secret Recipe to Delivering World Class Lectures- ZaidLearn, August 29, 2009
  38. E-teaching personality is good for e-learning- Electronic Papyrus, January 5, 2010

Online Discussions

  1. Face-to-Face Versus Threaded Discussions: The Role of Time and Higher Order Thinking Dr. Katrina A. Meyer, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks
  2. Ten Tips for Generating Engaged Online Discussions Katherine Fischer, Donna Reiss, Art Young
  3. Online Discussions: Tips for Instructors Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo
  4. Organizing and Managing Good Online Discussions Learning Technologies Center, University of Manitoba
  5. The Effectiveness and Development of Online Discussions MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
  6. Three-pronged approach to online discussions for learning
  7. A few strategies for setting the right tone for online discussions
  8. Some guidelines for discussion participation

Social Networks

  1. TCC09: Evaluating Social Networking Tools for Distance Learning- Experiencing eLearning, April 14, 2009
  2. Learning with 'e's: Teaching with Twitter- Learning with e's, April 23, 2009
  3. Twitter for Learning – 55 Great Articles

Effective Online Conferences

  1. 19 Tips for Effective Online Conferences
  2. Effective Web Conferences – 41 Resources
  3. Online Conferences and In-Person Conferences,
  4. Online Conference Formats


Eddie said...

I've been looking everywhere for proper resources and finally, I landed on your blog. Thank you also for giving a link to a number of tips for effective online conferences. Great help.

Clive B said...

"About five minutes into the presentation, with me alone in my office, and everyone muted"

:-) First time I used Elluminate I set my group a short task.... Of course I had no idea what they were doing... 5 mins silence seemed forever!

Tony Karrer said...

Thanks Eddie.

Clive - great point. I still have to tell myself that silence in a remote session is okay. I try to design around that by making sure there's something obvious happening on screen.

escalante blogger said...

wow! that's very impressive resources. and I am wonder that are these resources will be all read or use by the many?

escalante blogger said...

well, what do you think? of course it would for over millions of people around the world.

jennifertricoli said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Your experience is my greatest nightmare. I am an online student, currently earning my master's degree in instructional design and technology. My goal is to use this technology with my high school students and then eventually teach online. It's nice to see that there are so many online resources to help me during this journey. I especially appreciated the links about best practices when you are teaching online. It is fascinating to know that there are multiple online conversations about all aspects of education at my fingertips.

Gabriela said...

Hello from Toronto Tony,

I am so glad to find your blog!
Just finished my Adult Training Certificate and I was looking for online training resources to develop my own courses.

This list you put together is fantastic! How generous of you to share it with all of us...
I will take a look at all the links.

Thanks so very much!

~ Gabriela ~