Planning how to continuously improve online leads to improvement.
If you are clear about continuously improving online you will improve.
Improve continuously online.
Online teaching and learning is held to a higher standard than classroom teaching and learning.
Yet, online learning requires more systematic planning than a classroom lecture. It requires careful planning, implementation, and revision. Therefore, it is critical to provide evidence that your outcomes are at least as successful as the same classroom courses.
The art of teaching is about embracing change and continuously improving your craft. New tools and approaches to teaching online need to be put into practice and improved upon. Get in the game.
Get started with a systematic, intentional analysis of your online teaching.
How will you continuously improve?
The meaning of sadhana.
Sadhana does not mean any specific kind of activity. Sadhana means you are using everything as a tool to open to the flow of natural experience.
Natural experience opens your connection to understanding and wisdom as it naturally comes and goes in the give and take of the river of life.Sadhguru & T.Y. Pang
The meaning of true education.
True education should wake up the Innate Humanity inside of you. When you reach a higher level of practice and understanding, you learn to harmonize yourself inside, then you become able to harmonize with other people, and with outside situations.T.Y. Pang
It is up to you to make the time for practice; the more you practice the more you will learn.
Time is a created thing. To say I don’t have time,’ is like saying, I don’t want to.― Lao Tzu
Practice In Order
First, please complete the sadhana practice. Second, click on each question and review each answer. Third, take a break!
1. Complete the Elements of Thought sadhana practice.
Sadhana does not mean any specific kind of activity, sadhana means you are using everything as a tool to open to the flow of natural learning.
Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or downright prejudiced. If we want to think well, we must understand at least the rudiments of thought, the most basic structures out of which all thinking is made. We must learn how to take thinking apart.Foundation for Critical Thinking
The purpose of this sadhana is to help you open to the flow of natural experience and reasonable thinking.
1. Relax for 5 minutes.
Quietly sit straight and upright for 5 minutes, head and spine straight, concentrating only on your breath. Sit in an erect position, shoulders relaxed, palms flat on thighs. Center your focus on your midsection. Breath in and out deeply through your nose.
Pay attention to your spine. Your spine is where you will feel the flow of energy. Notice which parts of the spine feel warm and where there are no feelings or numbness. This information will indicate where your energy is flowing and where it is not. Your energy originates in the spine and flows out through the body.
When thoughts come up, let them go gently. Don’t beat yourself up. That just brings more thought. Gently let them go. Remember to keep your head and spine straight.
- Recognize your thoughts.
- Allow your thoughts to be just as they are.
- Investigate your thoughts with kindness.
- Natural awareness will come from not identifying with your thoughts.
2. Watch the video below.
3. Write a clear, accurate and precise sentence.
After 2 minutes tap into your awareness. In one sentence, state what information do you need to answer your question about teaching online. Be clear, accurate and precise.
Before you begin to practice this week, read your five word questions. Revise your question throughout the week as you open to new possibilities.
3. Think about your… Inferences
Now tap into your awareness. Inferences are interpretations or conclusions you come to. Inferring is what the mind does in figuring something out. Inferences should logically follow from the evidence. Infer no more or less than what is implied in the situation.
All reasoning contains inferences or interpretations or by which we draw conclusions and give meaning to data to reach solutions.
- Infer only what the evidence implies.
- Check inferences for their consistency with each other.
- Identify assumptions underlying your inferences.
Complete the following understanding of information:
- I understand “inference” to mean…
- In other words, [elaborate in a few sentences]…
- An example of someone having purpose would be…
4. Keep reminding yourself why you do sadhana.
Otherwise, your thoughts, your emotions, your physicality will get entangled with your runaway mind.
2. How do I begin to evaluate an online course?
Look closely at factors that may have influenced students’ ability to improve. Some of the questions you may consider are:
- What learning outcomes did most students struggle with?
- Were the learning outcomes clear to students?
- Were the content, activities and assessments well structured?
- What topics generated good critical interaction and what didn’t?
- How do I measure student work load?
- How can I streamline the work for me as an instructor?
- What could everyone do to better to manage the course workload without compromising quality?
- How much did each student improve in the course?
- How can you improve from student evaluations?
- Self reflection questions.
- Did your activities achieve the outcome you were expecting?
- What you will change next time to improve?
- Would you recommend your activities and assessments to a colleague?
- What were technology problems and how can they be solved?
- What feedback do your peers offer?
- Student feedback questions.
- Are students engaging effectively with your online activities or resources?
- Do they have any trouble with the technology?
- Do they feel more engaged?
- Theory/Scholarship questions.
- How does your experience compare with the reported findings in the literature?
- Are the outcomes similar or very different from what others have reported? If your outcomes are different, it is not necessarily negative, as your context may be different.
3. How do I ask students to evaluate an online course?
Completion rates are often low for evaluations voluntarily completed by students. You need to actively work to get high response rates. Low response rates also tend to be heavily biased towards successful students. Remember it is the students who struggled or dropped out that you need to hear from.
Small focus synchronous groups work better than student questionnaires. Ask 7-8 specific students to participate in a short discussion around specific questions about the course.
At the end of a course, look at your student grades, and identify which students did well and which struggled. Go to the beginning of the course and track their online participation as far as possible. This qualitative approach will often suggest changes to the content or the way you interacted with students for the next version of the course.
4. What are improvement indicators?
Online learning is outcomes based. Do your students reach the same level of improvement, or better, with an online course as an equivalent face-to-face course? Here are two quantitative, and one qualitative, improvement indicators you can use.
- Completion rates will be at least as good if not better for the online version
- Grades or measures of learning will be at least as good if not better for the online version.
- Improvement through change will lead to new, different and more relevant learning outcomes that are better served by online learning.
5. What is learning analytics?
Advances in online technologies have led to the collection of vast amounts of data pertaining to students’ use and interaction with technology. Much the same way that a gas company can track energy consumption in different cities to help improve their infrastructure – some learning technologies that we use capture data about students’ online activity. Exploring this data can help reveal whether the intended outcomes of the class design have been met or whether changes are required. Analyzing the online behavioral data from your students’ learning processes to inform your teaching is a form of learning analytics. The Society for Learning Analytics Research defines learning analytics as: “The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs”.
Many online technologies provide real-time analytics and visualizations that can help inform you of how your students are engaging with the online technologies. If your students are engaging with the technologies the way you imagined, then you have some indication that your redesigned class is leading to your intended outcome. If not, you have an opportunity to communicate with the students and obtain more feedback on why they are not using the online technology the way you had hoped. You may be able to modify your class design during the semester or you may need to wait until the next offering. Either way, objective real-time data of students’ actual use of the technology will help you gauge the impact of your redesigned class throughout the semester or term rather than waiting until the end when students complete class evaluation questionnaires.
6. How do I begin to make changes?
Once you identify a problem, start small. Look for effective small modifications to get started.
At the end of the first online course evaluate it and make changes. Make this process a habit every time you finish teaching an online course. Your goal is to help students and yourself continuously improve.
Keep in mind that results from changes made to your course may not be apparent in one class due to a small sample size, so you may want to gather data across several semesters to determine the effect of any changes.