If you are not organised and clear about your expectations, your online teaching can take up a lot of your time. Here are some strategies that will help you control the amount of time you spend online.
- Spending too much time in your online class can set up unrealistic student expectations of your colleagues teaching other courses. Be realistic, and only do what is achievable within a normal teaching load.
- Decide up front what activities will take place online (e.g. uploading content, monitoring and providing feedback to student activities, downloading assignments for marking, doing administration in the Grade Centre). Prioritise these tasks and deal with them in order of importance. Set time aside in your diary for these activities and try to stick to the allocated periods.
- Make clear to your students how often you will be online to provide feedback. Once a week on Friday mornings? Twenty minutes every morning? Choose a time and period that suits your timetable and preferences. Then students will not expect an immediate response whenever they post to the site.
- If you have set up a discussion forum in Moodle for course related queries, do not respond to individual emails on these matters. Copy and paste the query into the forum and answer it there. This will train your students to post queries in the class site, and reduce the number of individual emails you have to send.
- Encourage students to answer each other's queries. Students can often quite accurately advise each other. Learning from peers is a significant advantage of online learning spaces.
- Remind your students of your online teaching practices and expectations regularly in your face-to-face classes.
- Keep copies of online course content and activities you wish to reuse. Back up your course regularly.
- Wherever a useful template exists, use it, so that you don't have to develop every course structure or piece of content from scratch.
- Faculty Focus articles on managing your online teacher workload