How To Manage An Online Classroom
Career Guide · ELearning Industry 2018-02-02
Whether you are an adjunct instructor facilitating courses at
multiple institutions or a full-time instructor with a heavy course
load, time management in the online classroom can be daunting. There
are always discussions in which to read, review, and respond, there are
always questions to answer and announcements to be made, and there are
always assignments to be graded. Whether you have twenty or two hundred
students, here are 5 effective time management tips to effectively
manage your online classroom.
- Develop a routine.
A routine is integral in maintaining organization and
motivation. Rather than simply relying on memory and the assumption that
you will know what to do and when, determine a specific working routine
that you will follow every day. For example, develop a routine to begin
and end work at the same time each day. A routine will enable you to
effectively utilize your time, as well as serve as a signal to students
that you are not available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
- Make lists.
Online instructors often teach more than one course, and
perhaps at more than one institution. As a result, it is important to
create to-do lists to ensure all tasks and requirements are completed on
time. These lists can be constructed daily, weekly, or monthly, and
can be constructed using pen and paper, a whiteboard, or an electronic
notepad. Adhering to a list provides structure, clarity, and focus.
Additionally, a list will assist with ensuring your time is productive
and eliminate idle moments in which you are trying to remember which
task needs to be completed next.
- Hold office hours.
Instructors in the traditional brick and mortar setting hold
office hours to carve out a specific time each day to assist students
with questions or review feedback on assignments. Unfortunately, too
often students assume online instructors are present 24 hours a day, 7
days a week. As a result, holding office hours, much like sticking to a
specific routine, allows online instructors the freedom to direct
student questions and concerns to a specific allotment of time. Rather
than getting disrupted from posting or grading, office hours provide an
uninterrupted window for direct student-teacher interaction.
- Determine order of importance.
Online classrooms typically consist of discussions,
assignments, and quizzes. As a result, there can be a lot of posts and
assignments to sift through upon logging in each day. Therefore, it is
important to determine which tasks need your attention first. For
example, begin each day answering all student questions. After all
student questions are answered, move on to reading and participating in
the course discussions, and finally begin grading assignment
submissions. Following a specific order of importance in the classroom
will ensure all tasks are completed timely and efficiently.
- Save and reuse.
Most online courses do not change between terms, so it is
important to save previous announcements and supplemental posts. As long
as the course material does not change, and as long as the
announcements and posts are tailored to fit the new course, it will work
in your favor to simply reuse what you have posted in previous
courses. However, keep in mind, it will be important to ensure all links
work, dates are correct, and additional details are added.