This checklist from the course materials is a great resource for managing time and time-based expectations in online courses.
In my course descriptors and online content,
- I have clearly stated the times I will be available for office hours
- I have established a teacher presence with a welcoming bio and picture as appropriate
- I have clearly stated what dedicated times I intend to be online
- I have clearly stated that I will not be answering requests or questions on weekends but will align dedicated online time to what emerges from the weekend activity (i.e., Monday or Tuesday).
- I have scheduled any synchronous sessions and have made those publicly available on the course website, along with clear instructions on how to join them and what will be covered in each. I have scheduled these across a diversity of timezones.
- I have created signup forms for each session.
- I have organised all my activity into weekly or fortnightly blocks and made that clear on the site’s navigation.
- I have linked clearly to support information and services, where appropriate.
- I have provided weekly or fortnightly summaries of course activity, along with mention of any synchronous activity occurring in the upcoming block.
- When needed, I have used my dedicated online time to provide audio or video feedback on key points, concepts, or concerns.
- When I am not doing that, I am using this dedicated time to stimulate discussion, respond to questions, and make connections across concepts, research, or resources for my students.
- For any activity requiring feedback (an assessment, for example), I have returned grades and feedback in a timely fashion.
- On the day of all synchronous activity, I have sent reminders about that activity via the announcements function, or through the discussion boards.
- I have executed and recorded all synchronous sessions and made those available on the course website in a timely fashion.
- I have included a feedforward activity early in the course to prepare students for the final assignment (more on this in Module 4)
- Overall, I am establishing my teaching presence by using my dedicated time online for facilitation of discussions and activities and direct instruction drawing on your subject matter expertise.
- I have graded and provided feedback to all the final assignments from the course in a timely fashion.
- I have reflected on these time practices and made adjustments as needed to my course design.
It is important to note again that we believe teaching to be a profession. We are not mere facilitators of learning but engaged teachers. There is a difference. So, this checklist is not a mandate. It is a resource for you to consider, adapt as you see fit, and execute to the best of your ability. It should evolve over time, become more and more bespoke to your evolving sense of yourself as a professional teacher. It is designed to get you started and we trust you can take it from there.