Lloyd Nechtman

Lloyd Nechtman

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Providing feedback in a timely manner is perhaps the best way to keep students engaged.  We've all had online instructors who failed to grade papers, respond to discussion items, etc. and then at the end of the course you find there were areas you could have improved.

It is important to achieve the same effects in an online environment as you would face-to-face.   Energy must be put into establishing and maintaining a raport with each student and to individualize your approach to enable the individual's learning process.


This lesson reinforces the need to be prepared.  Preparation in the mechanics of the course being delivered is just as important as the contents.  Being able to proactively address common issues, and respond to individual issues quickly as they arise can go a long way to facilitating learning.   Students should place their intellectual energy towards learning the material, not navigating and problem solving the system.

Determining delivery method for a specific class is part of planning.  If the goal is to maximize learning, then selecting the most effective method based on the variables involved is key.   

Having experienced the "first day" many, many times as a student, it's important as an instructor to have empathy.   I recall all the things that made me apprehensive and if I can alleviate those in students then day one is a success.   Anxiety only interferes with the process.


Preparation is a key component of being a professional.  Students will know when you're phoning it in, or simply haven't put the time/energy in to ensuring you are as prepared as possible to maximize the time in the classroom.


Developing as an instructor is no different than developing in any other career field.  One should always be honing their craft and identifying methods to improve.   


Assessments are crucial to ensuring the lessons are having the intended effect(s).   Using formative assessments should identify any adjustment the instructor must make in order to maximize the learning for students.  

I personally use notes to keep on task or provide supplemental information not covered in the material.   I find notes an important tool to staying on topic and just as importantly perhaps - on time.


Course planning should be backward engineered with the Standard(s) as the startpoint.   This will focus the lessons, incorporating students knowledge/abilities, time, resources, etc in a manner which will result in both intermediate learning objectives being met and overal course standards satisified.


Lesson plans are simply a codified version of what you plan to teach and how you plan to teach incorporating variables such as time, materials, etc.   Even once established, Lesson Plans are a great contingency tool in the event someone needs to step in and take over the class for some reason.   The lesson plan provides the framework in which you were operating in and will provide a starting point.


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