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Using Human Touch to Engage Online Students

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Using Human Touch to Engage Online Students . John Thompson, PhD. Bio. Associate Professor Emeritus in Ed Tech Taught over 100 online courses since 2000 Former K-12 classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, principal & school superintendent - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Improve Learning with Effective Online Discussions

Using Human Touch to Engage Online Students

John Thompson, PhD

BioAssociate Professor Emeritus in Ed Tech Taught over 100 online courses since 2000Former K-12 classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, principal & school superintendentFunctioned as director of training for two state govtsTraining & consulting - Global Learning Institute, Inc. John Thompson, PhD2

What Works Top 10 Provide safe, comfortable environment 9.Establish rapport early on 8.Have a question or problem? discussion 7.Mandate minimum participation 6.Require posts by 4-5th day 5.Maintain focus 4.Provide choices 3.Incentify participation 2.Have active instructor presence 1.Human touch

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Human TouchHigh tech. High touch. John Naisbitt, Megatrends (1982)

Today We need Online Human Touch.John Thompson, PhD4

John Thompson, PhD5Students do not care how much their instructors know until the students know how much their instructors care.CaringJones (2010) found that academic caring was the number one predictor of online instructor ratings(see http://tinyurl.com/8bhhy3c)

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EmpathyDiscussion post

Hi John,

First, I must thank you for your invitation to inform you when I will not be in an area where I have Internet connection. That was very kind of you and much appreciated. Thank you so much!

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John Thompson, PhD8Email exchange

Student:Hi John,I wanted to let you know that I am plugging away on my work, but that this past week has been a complete fluke/ wash/ etc. We had loggers near the house, all week, taking a LOT of trees down, to clear them of the power line.

Me: Ouch. No problem if you need an extra day or two. It's been pretty stressful here, too.

Student: Sorry, I know I'm not the only one. I struggle a bit when things get chaotic and I appreciate the understanding - thank you! Will still try and get everything done on time!

ConnectionOnline instructor sent hot chocolate and popcorn to her online students one winter week. They logged onto an Internet site to watch a streamed movie together.

Drexel University invites its online students to attend an online Virtual Tea Orientation as part of the Online First-Year Experience using a Web conferencing program. Students receive a packet of tea with their mailed invitations. John Thompson, PhD9

CommunicationsI appreciate how Dr. T introduced himself and kept me informed of the class before we even started. I received emails informing me of things I could do prior to start up in Angel.

I also like that everything we need to do is explained in great detail and that any confusion is quickly clarified. It's easy for miscommunications to occur when a class is all online, so erring on the side of over-explaining and over-reminding is definitely better than the alternative.John Thompson, PhD10

PresenceI think a constant presence as the instructor is key to our success. Thank you for being so diligent about reading all of our posts and responding to so many!

I have to say that I agree the Dr. T is extremely active in this course. I too have taken online courses where the teacher barely talks or updates the students on activities and assignments due. It's excellent to have a teacher who participates and is constantly keeping in touch with the students.

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ResearchOrso and Doolittle (2011) asked students in 27 sections of community college online psychology courses to name three characteristics of an outstanding online teacher. Results of the 624 responses:

Communication/availability: 66%Compassion: 58%Organization: 58%Feedback: 45%Instructor personal information: 18%http://tinyurl.com/6odwbrl John Thompson, PhD12

SuggestionsRefer to students by name Resist quick reactions - watch your word choiceCome alive w/ audiovisual e.g., Voki.com, Present.me, xtranormal.comShare e.g., family health issuesHumor emoticons Be niceThe one thing that stood out the most was that our opinions mattered and Professor Thompson was very available and considerate. I have never met him in person but he is nicer and more available to me than the professors I see every day.

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RelationshipsIt all comes down to relationships

Difference between a good teacher and a great teacher? - ability to build relationships with students

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Q&AQuestions?Suggestions?Comments?John Thompson, PhD15

PresenterJohn Thompson, PhDAssociate Professor EmeritusComputer Information Systems DepartmentBuffalo State College716.860.0341 cellphonethompsjt@buffalostate.edu

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