There are a number of roles and responsibilities involved in effective online teaching.

In the following video, experts in online teaching and learning will discuss some of these roles and responsibilities, in addition to some of the challenges associated with being an online teacher.

In the following interviews, experts in online teaching and learning will discuss some of these roles and responsibilities, in addition to some of the challenges associated with being an online teacher.

Click 'Play' to watch the video.

Foundations

The following article is the result of a major study about the different roles...

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Your roles and responsibilities as an online teacher

Useful links

Ko, S. & Rossen, S. (2010) Teaching Online: A Practical Guide, Milton, UK: Taylor...

Having considered the experiences of the online teachers in the video, take a moment to reflect on your initial thoughts regarding the roles and responsibilities of, and challenges facing, an online teacher.

Having considered these online teachers' experiences, take a moment to reflect upon your initial thoughts regarding the roles and responsibilities of, and challenges facing, an online teacher.

Work through each of the questions in the following activity, entering your own answers in the space provided before clicking on 'View feedback' to compare with answers given by other online teachers. Use 'Next' to move to the next question. You can click the 'View summary' button to access a printable summary at the end.
Work through the following questions. For each question, pause to consider your response (you may wish to make a note of your answers) before continuing to reflect on our thoughts.

Foundations

Salmon, G. (2013) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning (2nd edition)...

Key terms

Asynchronous – This refers to learning that can take place at any time...

Your context

Be sure to refer to your staff handbook or job description so that you...

PROGRAMME | Teaching Online
COURSE | Being a successful online teacher
UNIT | 1 : Introduction to online teaching
PAGE TITLE | Roles and responsibilities of an online teacher

Question 1 of 6:

Why do you currently teach online/what has prompted you to begin teaching online?

Our thoughts:

Possible responses might include...

  • Employment opportunity
  • Institutional, department, programme initiative
  • To explore the use of advancing technologies
  • To reach a wider audience
  • Requested to by department chair (not a personal choice or desire).

Question 2 of 6:

What are the opportunities for you as a teacher?

Our thoughts:

Possible responses might include...

  • Increased time flexibility for you as a teacher (not fixed location-based)
  • To engage students in different communication modalities (asynchronous and synchronous)
  • To develop your own digital literacy skills
  • To reflect on current teaching capability (i.e. that online teaching raises awareness of teaching strengths and weaknesses)
  • To reach a wider student audience.

Question 3 of 6:

Our thoughts:

What are your responsibilities as an online teacher?

  • Organisational roles
  • Facilitation roles
  • Leadership roles
  • Duty of care for your students
  • Create a positive online learning experience.

Question 4 of 6:

What are the potential challenges for you as an online teacher?

Our thoughts:

  • Different physical cues (e.g. lack of body language)
  • Different time connections with students (e.g. expanded time boundaries rather than fixed teaching session time and office hours)
  • Lack of digital literacy skills
  • Lack of online communication skills
  • Lack of experience with establishing an online teaching presence.

Question 5 of 6:

Will you be teaching a blended or online course? How do they differ?

Our thoughts:

  • A blended learning course involves the integration of face-to-face interaction with online learning
  • An online learning course usually involves no physical face-to-face interaction (all the learning takes place in the online environment).

Question 6 of 6:

What will be the size of your online class? How will the size of your class affect your teaching strategies?

Our thoughts:

  • Class sizes vary dramatically from institution to institution. What is considered to be 'average' or 'large' at your institution?
  • In this course, we will consider classes with over 50 students to be 'large'.
Portfolio icon

You may wish to copy your responses into your Teaching Online portfolio for future reference.

What type of digital learner are you?

Portfolio activity

Working with your supervisor, mentor or a peer, make a list of your...

Whether or not we teach online, we live in a digital age, in which digital literacy is either highly desirable or essential for students' studies and future careers (JISC, 2012). Part of a teacher's role must be to keep abreast of advances in digital technology, how our students are using those technologies and which technologies can effectively support the teaching and learning process.

digital literacy

The ability to locate, organise, understand, evaluate, and create information using digital technology.

It is useful to reflect on our digital learning awareness and preferences in order to understand how they could potentially have an impact on our roles and responsibilities as online teachers. You may wish to try the 'Portfolio activity' to the right of the screen, which provides an opportunity to take a quiz that will help you to reflect on:

It is useful to reflect on our digital learning awareness and preferences in order to understand how they could potentially have an impact on our roles and responsibilities as online teachers. You may wish to try the 'Portfolio activity' at the end of this section, which provides an opportunity to take a quiz that will help you to reflect on:

Portfolio activity

Visit the following link to complete a short quiz developed by the...

  • Your personal attitude towards digital technologies
  • Different ways of working with digital technologies in your teaching
  • Your current digital 'strengths' and areas for development which might enhance your online teaching.

Summary

After completing this screen you will have an awareness of the variety of roles and responsibilities associated with being a successful online teacher. The purpose of this course is to help you fully understand these roles and responsibilities, as well as to tackle any challenges that they may present.

After completing this section you will have an awareness of the variety of roles and responsibilities associated with being a successful online teacher. The purpose of this course is to help you fully understand these roles and responsibilities, as well as to tackle any challenges that they may present.


Foundations

Useful links

Foundations

Key terms

Asynchronous – This refers to learning that can take place at any time. In other words, you and your students can access and participate in your online courses whenever you wish and at different times.

Synchronous – This refers to learning that takes place in real time, at the same time, such as virtual meetings or other scheduled online events.

Digital literacy – The ability to locate, organise, understand, evaluate, and create information using digital technology.

Blended learning – The integration of face-to-face interaction with online learning.

Your context

Be sure to refer to your staff handbook or job description so that you are also clear on your institutional roles and responsibilities for online teaching.

Portfolio

Duration: 20 minutes

Working with your supervisor, mentor or a peer, make a list of your institutional roles, responsibilities, and any challenges you may experience as an online teacher.

Be sure to also record any gaps or nuances that you want to explore in this course.

Download the attached document to record your thoughts, or use the corresponding page in your Teaching Online portfolio.

Portfolio

Duration: 20 minutes

Visit the following link to complete a short quiz developed by the University of Exeter, designed to reveal your personal digital learner profile: http://bit.ly/learnerquiz

The quiz will help you to reflect on your awareness of and attitude towards using digital technologies, and will highlight areas to consider developing to enhance your online teaching provision.

Use the attached document to record the results of the quiz and your thoughts on how the results could inform your future online teaching. Alternatively, complete the relevant page of your Teaching Online portfolio.