Teaching Online–I Think I Like It


Kind of Fun to Teach Online

Kind of Fun to Teach Online

When I first started teaching online I found distance learning far inferior to traditional. Teaching has always been so interactive for me, so I didn’t see how I could capture the same dynamic in an online environment. I have found that I was absolutely right. The two environments are vastly different and require distinct teaching styles. However, that does not mean teaching online can not be as effective as teaching in the traditional classroom, and at times, I find online classes to be the better way to teach literature.

Of course, I have been teaching 200-level literature classes online for quite a few years and have had the freedom to develop my courses the way I see fit. I also am blessed at my college with an incredible distance learning support staff that have helped me solve problems and supplied me with the technological skills I need to continue improving my classes and lessening my grading load.

Earlier this semester, I presented a session on teaching 200-level courses online at the North Carolina Community College’s annual conference in Raleigh and thought I would share some of the information I presented there:

Course Structure

  • Provide Students with Resources, including
    Examples, in Folders
  • Number Assignments
  • Provide Due Dates in Multiple Places
  • Post a welcome Letter and/or Video
  • Use multiple Avenues of Communication

Assignments–Combine Traditional and Non-Traditional


  • Lecture (video or audio taped)
  • Class Discussion (through Discussion Forums,  On-line Chats and Skype)
  • Written assignments (reader responses, essay tests, literary analysis


  • On-line Reading Quizzes
  • Kaltura Assignments
  • Audio/Video Response
  • SCROM Packages
  • Online Presentations

Some of My Favorite Assignments

  • Creative Projects
    • Rewriting a scene from Beowulf using a different perspective
    • Writing a Japanese Chain Poem
    • Writing a poem in the style of one of the Romantic Poets
  • Film and Video
    • Film Assignments—Watching a Modern British Film
    • Youtube videos
      • Resources
      • Assignments
  • Kaltura Assignments (For Moodle Users)
    • Lectures
    • Directions
  • Travel Project–My All-Time Favorite
    • $10,000 imaginary dollars to spend on the trip
      of a lifetime!!!
    • 20% of the grade in this course
    • Choose author and/or work to research
    • Annotated Bibliography
      • Scholarly
      • Related to author, work and countries associated with both
      • Should not be purely biographical
      • Research the places in the work, too
    • Travel Itinerary Presentation
      • Powerpoint or some other software
      • post on Travel Project Forum for all students to see 1
      • 14-day itinerary of a literary tour
      • I provide detailed examples of the annotated bibliography and the presentation.

If you would like more information about any of the above information, just contact me here at “Hey, Mrs. Winkler!” I’ll be glad to share.

On my next blog, I’ll discuss some advanced grading methods I use online to help with the heavy grading load that can be generated when teaching upper level online classes


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