Create your own e-lectures and materials that are in your “voice”. Save the “Academic Speak” for the textbooks.
Use CCCConfer for office hours and demonstrate lessons (archive them!)
Tell stories. You have experiences, them about them.
Avoid the PowerPoint shallowness, use this software carefully and not as a crutch - learn to use a web editor. (Dreamweaver or some other html editor)
Get a “Usability Buddy” Make sure that, if you are a student, you would know what to do first. Be sure you have an announcement or syllabus document that tells students how to navigate the course. Do “usability testing” If your test user can’t figure out how to get started, it’s likely your students can’t either. Make sure your beginning instructions are clear and very complete.
Make sure that you have written expectations (discussion board ethics, rubrics, assignment deadlines, etc.), instructions, and ncessary information regarding what students will need for the course. Available in an easy to find location (software, books, plug-ins, etc.)
Keep learning. Read new literature, visit @One site for desktop seminars, talk to other teachers who you know are good online teachers, share experiences, get trained. Just because you can use a computer and the Internet, doesn’t mean you will be a good online teacher (but it helps).
Make sure you have “Regular Effective Contact” going on.
Use Discussion Forums
Use Regular Announcements
Make sure you are conducting instructor initiated interaction. Many instructors use email to connect with students. It is good for interaction between the teacher and the student but is usually student initiated, which means that some students won’t participate. A combination of discussion forums, email, regular announcement use and online or phone conferencing will ensure that effective communication is happening.
Have your usability buddy follow one of your lessons, activity, or unit from start to finish. If you think that it makes sense and that student will learn what they should be learning in a comparable FTF course, then you have the beginnings of a good online class!
Ask the students for feedback. Do it often with a sense of humor: “Are you with me? What do you think you have learned, so far?” “Check the Temperature: Do you have a fever, are you warm, are you asleep?” “Parting Comments….er…Shots.”