Framework for an online course
Framework for an online course avatar

The seven principles for undergraduate teaching by Chickering and Gamson are “contact between students and faculty, reciprocity and cooperation among students, active learning, time on task, feedback, communicating high expectations, and respecting diverse talents and ways of learning.” These principles are probably already core values in our f2f courses from day one by defining clear expectations in the syllabus and carefully crafting clear, meaningful assignments, to providing class time with active learning and group participation which respects diverse populations and fosters cooperation among students, to communication and feedback both in person and in writing both verbally and as part of the grading process. Therefore, a well-designed online course would continue to incorporate these fundamental concepts into an online environment.

Some of the key principles of teaching composition that I hope to incorporate into an online composition course are defined by the checklist on page xvi. The importance of readings in my course that spark thought and student-centered conversation are very important to me, so I spend many hours finding up-to-date articles that are thought provoking and sometimes controversial.  Making these student-led discussions is also important in my course so that they really take something away in the end, learning to think critically and evaluate for themselves. I also highly value the use of workshop-like peer reviews which provide in-depth feedback that help students improve their writing. I have found that having clear questions or guidelines for the reviewer to answer about a student’s piece has increased the value of these.  I also feel that positive reinforcement and personalized feedback that helps them grow as a writer (and as a person) is an important aspect of my courses. To a lesser extent, I do use quizzes and presentations, but I see those as vehicles not really values.

Here is my video