Brendan Cox

Brendan Cox

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Formative and summative assessments of the courses are essential. Always be open to changes that can be made. This in itself is workload management as some of the changes can save the instructor time in the end and help hone the focus of the course for the students. 

In an online environment, students require frequent feedback. An instructor should be careful though not to be giving "too much" feedback when it comes to group discussion boards, chats, etc. The students need to foster a sense of the "in classroom" relationship building and a lot of discussion will steer itself in the right direction. Constant input from an instructor in this sense can lead to dereailing the conversation or keeping the students from thoroughly engaging with each other.

Planning ahead and blocking out your time is important for an instructor. Acknowledging when and where you will work best is key and stick to your plan about when you'll be an available online precense. Don't set the expectation that you'll be online all the time.

Workload managment is very important. Instructors in an online environment should evaluate their expected workloads ahead of time and come up with ways to distribute, eliminate or enhance various aspects of the workload. Managing the workload will carry over into an instructor's time managment and help there as well.

There are a lot of possible ways to make your courses accesssable. I, for one, did not know about the ALT Text option in Word. When laying out new presentations, thinking about the content being accessable to a student using a screen reader could actually help with document layout and keeping things clean. I'm sure we've all seen a document or Powerpoint that has been all over the place which would make it impossible for a screen reader app to translate. Good information.

You need to have a plan for students that have vision, hearing or mobility impairments. Typical LMS's do not mesh well with Assistive Tech tools if you're just trying to take what you have already and apply it through the AT tools. Some forethought must be used in how to address and transfer the material so that it is accessable to the student through one of the many AT Tools.

We are obligated to be able to present materials in a manner that all students can learn successfully in compliance with ADA standards. You should investigate if your institution already has the resources in place to make the accomodations and be proactive about it.

When setting up courses, we need to take deliberate steps to ensure that what we're laying out can easily transfer to students with various learning disabilities. It may take some outside of the box thinking, but it can be done.

Feedback is a big part of the rubric whether it's helping you assess the rubric to see if it provides what you need, allowing you to give students feedback through the rubric or having student input on it's implementation.

While it can seem intimidating, there are many resources out there for successfully building a reliable rubric. A quick Google search can get you some good resources along with the links provided in the material. One thing to remember though is that a reliable rubric should produce similar grades when two different instructors use them.

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