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Teaching Support for Business Faculty: Best Practices of Distance Learning

A guide to resources & tools in support of best practices in remote/online instruction for College of Business & all BGSU faculty.

Welcome from the Committee to Advance Teaching & Learning (CATL)

This LibGuide is being developed to direct BGSU faculty to resources to help develop and improve online and remote teaching practices. Through a recent survey of faculty, holding focus groups with faculty, meeting with department chairs, and reviewing the literature, we have collaboratively developed a list of the ten (10) core practices that are essential for a quality distance learning course. The guide offers a concise curation of the best content compiled by faculty and staff that will save you time. 

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The 10 Core "Best" Practices of Distance Learning: Synchronous (Remote) & Asynchronous (Online)

  1. Keep students informed with regular communication. The instructor sends communications on a predictable and regular basis using a standard medium. This promotes consistency and efficiency in the course, enables students to be proactive while increasing confidence, reduces stress, and fosters learning safety.
  2. Coordinate all activities, events, and due dates though a central calendar. The instructor lists all due dates and reminders for course activities in a centralized location so that students can access the information on multiple devices and set notifications, as appropriate. This motivates students to self-manage, time manage, take responsibility for their learning, and be accountable for their coursework.
  3. Ensure the student user experience is friendly and sticky. The instructor provides a concise and navigable online setup for the course that is appealing and easy to use. This encourages students to leverage learning management system features that save themselves and faculty time, while reducing errors.
  4. Frame the learning outcomes in ways that meaningfully connect with all aspects of the course. The instructor introduces and explains how the learning outcomes connect to all aspects of the course in ways that are relevant to students' professional and personal aims. This helps each student know the “why” of specific components and the whole course in ways that inspire their best work and best self.
  5. Create a two-way conversation with students. The instructor proactively meets with their students regularly in synchronous (real time/live) and asynchronous (over time) forums. This creates students' sense of connection with the instructor, increases the instructor's presence within the class, and builds a trusting relationship among instructor and students.
  6. Facilitate an engaging collaborative learning community. The instructor creates activities that cause the students to collaborate and engage with each other on a deep and reflective level. This promotes a healthy learning community experience that encourages peer-to-peer support, reduces confusion, and increases commitment for all aspects of the course.
  7. Curate content, including lectures, that is accessible to all students. The instructor offers a variety of accessible content, including lectures, in mixed media forms that allow students to read, listen, view, and engage with the material. This encourages students to intentionally study the information to be more prepared for class events and assignments, enabling the instructor to build upon the content with active learning experiences. 
  8. Protect the academic honesty and integrity of the course The instructor creates valid and reliable procedures for assessing student learning that mitigates cheating. This ensures the course is fair and respected by students, provides a useful evaluation of learning outcomes for accrediting bodies, and maintains integrity of the degree program and university.  
  9. Build a learning scaffold of activities that require the use of course content.  The instructor develops an integrated set of relevant tasks or pieces of work that build an applied learning scaffold (assignments that build on each other), requiring the use of course content to complete. This turns rote learning (lower on Bloom's Taxonomy) into enduring learning (higher on Bloom's Taxonomy) that students appreciate and use in their professional pursuits.
  10. Provide a variety of relevant and timely feedback. The instructor provides timely feedback on all assessments, with additional mechanisms that foster student-student feedback (peer and double loop learning). This ensures students focus on their own learning, believe the feedback is credible, and stay motivated to improve themselves.

Citation - Cady, S.H. & Vanderhart, P.G. (2020). The 10 Core Practices Essential to a Quality Distance Learning Experience:  Asynchronous (Online) & Synchronous (Remote) Courses. Bowling Green State University, College of Business, Committee to Advance Teaching & Learning (CATL), Teaching Plan for Fall 2020: College of Business Rapid Response Initiative. www.tinyurl.com/10-Core-Best-Practices