For Online Instructors, Learn the Essentials of Learner-Centered Strategies

What motivates your desire to teach online courses, or why do you currently do so? As an educator, I’ve used this question as an opportunity for self-reflection for over a decade now, and I use it to see if I’m adapting to the changing needs of my students. What I’ve discovered is that while technology and classroom tools have evolved, there are some fundamental needs that haven’t. It’s important for online students to know that their online instructor is present, engaged in the class, and accessible. However, despite the fact that this should be a no-brainer, I’m aware of many instructors who only show up to class when it’s absolutely necessary. Do you think students are aware of your demeanour? You can be sure that they want more interaction from the instructor. In the long run, students may come to believe this is what they can expect from an online school if it continues to happen from instructor to instructor.

Who is responsible for fostering a welcoming and nurturing environment for students? Of course, the instructor is the correct answer. By actively engaging in the class, even when the course is already designed, the instructor is able to demonstrate best practises and implement learner-centered strategies. For me, the best strategies were developed through trial and error, based on what worked and what students actually needed to keep progressing academically. All interactions with students are teaching opportunities in and of themselves, so this goes beyond simply being “visible” in the classroom. In the classroom, an instructor’s response to a student’s email or discussion post has meaning and the potential to further engage the learner. A sense of purpose may be gained by employing the following methods in the classroom, as well as furthering your own development as an educator.
The Power of Words

Be careful about what you post, tweet, or email.. What an online instructor needs to keep in mind when interacting with their students is this: Not living in fear is the answer, but being aware of and considerate of the needs of those who are submitting written work, posting messages on discussion boards, or sending emails is. That person, whose words those are, has hopes, dreams, and fears of their own. However, you must look beyond the words and try to decipher what they mean, what they are trying to convey, and what they are trying to ask you. Even if you don’t understand, have a negative emotional reaction, or need more clarification, you should still respond or follow up with a sense of care for the person to whom the message is addressed. In order to use your communication effectively, you must maintain a neutral stance, as your words have tremendous power and cannot be retracted once they are written, posted or even sent. Never send an email when you’re in a frenzied state of mind; instead, take your time, think things through, make a draught, and then take a break. Your interactions will be more productive and less stressful if you can keep your emotions in check.

a lack of direct communication

In a traditional classroom, regardless of the instructor’s mood, there is a physical presence established. Learners can feel the presence, regardless of whether or not they’re excited about what they’re learning or if they’re just trying to get through what’s required. The learning management system (LMS) used by many online schools has advanced significantly in terms of interactivity over the past few years. Rather than a dynamic person who is constantly on the move and ready to engage, the online class has the feel of a static experience. When there is no direct contact, this presents a new challenge in creating a sense of presence. Therefore, online teaching should not only focus on the technical aspects of managing classrooms and completing required tasks, but also on how to make the learning experience more personable.