The information below focuses on helping our students succeed in an online or hybrid learning environment. Some of the information included will only apply if you are using specific strategies or learning modalities. Please utilize and adapt any or all of the following information to best suit your individual course preparation needs.
Before your hybrid flexible course launches, instructors should review the design of their course(s), polish up and post welcome announcements in online learning platforms, make sure instructor contact information is current and get organized. If you are offering an online learning modality, we encourage you to consider reviewing these Online Teaching Competencies (McArthur) before launching your course. There are several things you should do prior to the first day of class:
We recommend that you share information with your students at least two weeks before classes begin:
The first week in a hybrid flexible course is a crucial time to engage students and address any questions or concerns your students may have about the course. Research shows most students engaging virtually in a course drop out in the first week of the course because they feel a lack of connection with the course or the instructor. Several steps instructors can take to establish presence and engage students joining virtually during the first week include (McArthur, 2018):
Your students will benefit from early modeling of the “go-to” technology you plan to use under various instructional scenarios throughout the semester in the first week of classes. Some ideas to consider:
If you are using any sort of synchronous or asynchronous interactive technology, it is a good idea to share some basic netiquette tips with your students as a starting point for a more personal conversation you have with each of your courses about norms of interaction and engagement online. Some general guidelines taken from these CAS Remote Learning Guidelines for Students include:
Refrain from typing in “all caps.”– Readers may think that you are shouting and that is not how you should convey your message.
Sarcasm is not appropriate. – In general, sarcasm is difficult to understand, but it may be taken as rude behavior when using online. It is appropriate to be direct in communication, but do not use sarcasm.
Do not abuse the chat box. – This is a place to share an idea or ask a question, not a place for commenting on everything that is said. Do not ask questions that are unrelated to the topic or irrelevant to the discussion. The chat box is not instant messaging or for texting.
Use proper grammar and be respectful. – Chat boxes are not a place to type things that you would to your friends. Use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. Refrain from using “short hand” words or abbreviations. However, you are not the grammar police. Do not scold others for making a mistake. This is not casual conversation – You should address your professor by the appropriate name, as well as other classmates. Formality is still expected, as if you were writing a “business-like” or professional email.
Read before you respond. – Scroll through discussion posts and chat posts before posting your own answers, questions or statements. When you duplicate such things, it shows that you are not paying attention.
Think before you type. – Words can often be forgotten or overlooked, but posting to a chat is part of a digital record. Again, be respectful. If you are comfortable sharing your typed words in a classroom setting in front of others, then it is generally OK to post.
Adhere to community standards – University policies (including the conduct code and policies around discrimination, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment) still apply to your online learning environment. Behaviors that would not be appropriate in the classroom will not be tolerated online.
More specific netiquette for synchronous video interactions include:
As instruction begins, if you have a concern about a particular student, including a student’s understanding of or access to the technology required for their learning, please Raise an Academic Concern Flag in Success@Furman. Please use the flags below early and often, as the window to correct these issues in online spaces closes quickly.
Several flag options include:
Online Teaching Competencies. McArthur, J. (2018).