Online Mentoring

One main focus of the course will be to provide ideas on mentoring teachers through the first courses in this series. However, the course is designed to be general enough for any online teaching situation.


Introduction Important information on the course itself, and how it relates to teaching online is contained in this short introduction.

UNIT ONE: Facilitating an Online Course

1. Adults as learners Many online courses consist of adult learners, who have different characteristics from those of children. This lesson examines the characteristics of adult learners and programs designed for them. These characteristics have implications for how the course is taught.

2. Organizing an online course Before beginning an online course, the facilitator will need to make a number of important decisions. Based on the nature of the learners and the course itself, you will need to decide on issues of structure versus freedom. Will participants be allowed to decide on their own sequence, pace and activities? What is the role of the facilitator?

3. Online assessment and management The online medium provides unique opportunities for authentic assessment. This lesson provides some ideas and examples of online assessment. Online courses, especially those taken for credit, need to be "managed". "Attendance" and the completion of assignments will need to be monitored and recorded.

4. Beginning an online course The first few weeks of an online course are vital. This lesson examines issues to be considered and ways to begin an online course.

5. Facilitating an online discussion Online discussions do not occur naturally. If discussion is central to the course, there are steps that the facilitator can take to increase the chances of discussions occurring online.

6. Facilitating online group work Online group work needs to be carefully planned and managed. Stages in the life of a group project are outlined, and the role of the facilitator during each of these stages is examined.

UNIT TWO: Creating an Online Course

7. Group conferencing options Current conferencing options on the Web are somewhat limited. However this is changing. Within the next year or two, online teachers are likely to have a range of options.

8. HTML and home pages This lesson deals with how to create your own courses in HTML format and to post them to your home page.

9. Multimedia support tools for online instruction Lessons posted on the Web can take advantage of a range of multimedia options such as sound and video clips. Explore some of these options in this lesson.

10. Copyright and censorship Many lessons on the Web today use pointers to other sources of information. What can and cannot be done without violating copyright laws? What risk is there of your work being censored? What rights to privacy do students taking your course have?

11. Promoting an online course Once you have created a course, how do you find students? How can you obtain university credit for those taking your course? What are the financial rewards?

12. Keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date The final lesson provides some pointers on how to keep current with online teaching, and where other resources for online teaching are located.