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I have learned how important it is for student's to know that someone is there to provide both academic and technical support. It gives them a sense of safety. Also, I have learned how important it is to know the ins and outs of the CMS I am using, and how to communicate with my students successfully. 

Time is the biggest challenge of online learning. An instructor MIA is a big worry for online students.

Instructors must pay attention to the signs that a student is not engaged.

You need to have a combo of well designed passive learning activities, along with active learning activities.

Active learning is 90% by "doing."

In any online course, the instructor has to be able to manage the learning environment. In some situations, students need help stay engaged, and in other situations, students need to be moderated. I am learning to help students in either situation  help themselves succeed, and also prevent disruptive behavior in the learning environment. 

One of the challenges of online teaching is engaging students in meaningful ways. Some students are receptive to discussion posts and attending live session, and some might shy away, or not find any benefit. For these reasons, I am learning how to engage students in the asynchronous discussion as part of a way to keep the class interactive. Some students might have learning styles that make it difficult to participate in discussions and sharing their ideas, so learning how to engage those students will be important to my success as the instructor. 

With online learning courses, it can be difficult for instructors to make their students feel like there is a real person teaching them. I will be learning how to make them feel my presence in a number of ways, including engaging with them and projecting presence and authority through the tools of the online learning system. These include interacting with student in the discussion forums, having a lively presence in the live session meetings, and being available to answer any questions and concerns. 

As an online instructor, being familiar with the online learning structure is a key to success. In this way, I can know how to access and mange the essential parts of online learning, such as grades, discussion, and assignments. In addition, communication is different with online learning than in-person, so I will need to learn how to use the different methods of communication. 

My takeaway from this was that active learning is every a student is doing online or F2F in a classroom that doesn't have anything to do with passive lecture. I plan to make my lecture time more of a Q and A. Since they will be doing most of their work at home online they will be able to hear a short overview in class and ask any questions to clear up anything they maybe stuck on and then move to more hands on.  

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