Week 3: Launching the Online Learning Experience
Palloff and Pratt agree that the first two weeks of Launching the Online Experience are very crucial (Laureate Education Inc., 2012). This is the time that the facilitator is breaking the ice and getting to know their learners. When students sign in and introduce themselves, the facilitator should make sure to respond to each student. This helps to break the ice. There should also be an introductory announcement from the facilitator that includes contact information and available hours. Within the first two weeks, the facilitator should be familiar with their students. The classroom and tools that will be used should also be set up. Additionally, the instructor should be totally prepared and be competent in the tools that they are sharing with the class (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).These things are very important because the online environment should be a welcoming experience. It is like preparing for a special event that will last for weeks.
There is nothing worse for a student that to be confused in the early stages and feel lost. Communication is important. When the student knows how to navigate, find resources, and know what is expected of him or her they can focus on their weekly assignments. If they need assistance they are not afraid to reach out.
Additional considerations that the instructor should take into account are that their students are different and may come with different technology skills and experiences that may require more patience (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). They may need additional help and resources. The instructor should always be open for questions and give a timely response.
Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Launching the online learning experience. Baltimore, MD: Author.