Monday, April 2, 2012

April 3, 2012

Good Morning Everyone and Welcome to Spring Quarter! 

I'm excited to be back in the swing of things and to be working on this blog again.  If you have any ideas for training courses or blog topics you'd like to see discussed or covered at any point, please don't hesitate to let me know.

With it being the first week of a new quarter, I wanted to share a couple of ideas with you on how to personalize your course(s) as a way to really connect with your students, even in the virtual environment.  Creating a strong instructor/student connection from the start sets you and your students up for greater success as the quarter progresses.

When welcoming your students in Unit 1, why not add in some personal flare to show your students who you are as a person in addition to you as their instructor.  In fact, research has shown that when students connect with their instructors, they are that much more motivated to succeed as they don't want to let their instructors down (and the students benefit greatly from this in the long run).  While connecting in the virtual environment may be more difficult, it is even that much more important because it is virtual, so I encourage you to brainstorm ways to show the "human" side of you as their instructor as you welcome them into your class(es).
Here are some ideas to hopefully help you spark some ideas of your own:
  • A video introducing yourself
  • An audio message introducing yourself
  • A picture montage set to your favorite music selection using Animoto
  • Creating a fun and quirky Xtranormal video where you have one of the Avatars representing you giving a self-introduction
  • A Prezi slide show
  • Options are endless - simply start brainstorming your ideas
Personally this quarter I am using this Prezi Presentation and my Course Tutorial video to share some additional things about me and my course expectations.

I hope these ideas spark some additional ideas for you as ways to connect with your students.  If you try something out, let me know how it goes!

Thanks and have a great rest of the first week!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

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