Day 5: Setting Up Your Online Teaching Space

Now that your students are logged in and happily functioning (hopefully); let’s think about your online teaching patterns and routines. Just as you want students to settle into a routine of participating and engaging with your content, you may want to have some structure and schedule to your online teaching. If you set aside specific times for teaching online, you will feel less like it is taking all of your time and causing constant interruptions.

Daily Routine

First, set up a daily routine for yourself. Over time, as you get accustomed to teaching online, you should be able to take care of your course in under an hour daily, with the exception of your grading sessions.

  • Login to your class.
  • Check who has logged in (until everyone is functioning)
  • Check the forums. Reply to students.
  • Send any tech issues to your online tech support.
  • Filter through your email and answer course related questions. Here are some options for managing course-related email:

Fend Off Interruptions

Your colleagues and family probably wouldn’t dream of interrupting you during a face-to-face class. However, it’s highly likely they will while you are teaching online. Here are some tips for fending off interruptions:

  • Make a sign for your office door: Do Not Disturb: I’m Teaching Online.
  • Teach your colleagues and family that this time is off-limits except for major emergencies.
  • Discipline yourself to do only online teaching work during this time. Ignore other emails.

Make a Space

Adjunct faculty in particular may wish to carve out a special space (as well as time) for teaching online. Maybe you’ll have a favorite tea handy, a special mug, a comfy chair. Make the space friendly and inviting for yourself as well!

Your Turn

Reflect. How do you protect your face-to-face teaching time? How do you protect your online teaching time? What ideas would you add to this list?

This post is Day 5 of the 20 Day Challenge to Teaching Interactive Online Courses.

2 replies on “Day 5: Setting Up Your Online Teaching Space”

  1. […] Timing of Grading. I like to grade weekly on a Sunday or Monday. I set aside a couple hours to carefully work through all the assignments from the past week, providing feedback, nudging students, updating grades. This works well for 8 week or semester long courses. For shorter courses, it may be better to grade twice a week. Find a pattern that works for you. Carve out the time needed. […]

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