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Teaching Online

Online Course Manual and Other Information

Online Course Manual

Online Course Information for Students –  from the Registrar’s Office

Technology and Training Resources

Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) is the platform for delivery of online courses at Ramapo. To learn how to use Moodle, chose one or more of these options:

Moodle Login

Moodle Basics Video Tutorials – These 12 short tutorials are recommended for instructors new to Moodle, and cover the basic, most commonly used features.

Discover other Instructional Technologies available at Ramapo.

Recorded Workshops – explore the following IDC recorded workshops:

  • Getting Ready to Teach Summer Online
  • Promoting Discussions Through Moodle Forums
  • Best Practices for Online Teaching
  • Best Practices for Hybrid Teaching
  • Transition into Online Teaching
  • Beyond Moodle
  • Using Adobe Connect
  • Capture and Share Lectures with Camtasia Relay
  • Turnitin Feedback Studio

LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) online training courses:

Faculty Resource Center – join the Online Teaching Circle on campus in the FRC to explore the pedagogy of teaching online.

Accessibility Resources – ensure your course is accessible.

Best Practices

The Task Force for Online Learning research review highlighted a number of best practices for online and hybrid courses. These best practices are summarized below.

  • The online or hybrid course content must be driven by the identical learning outcomes that drive the on-site course.
  • The online or hybrid course content must be equal in content and challenge to the on-site course.
  • Although class session time is not a factor in an online course, class participation is still important.
  • A hybrid course must have clear goals, outcomes, and activities for both the on-site and online sessions.
  • Online “attendance” is determined by looking at both the quantity and quality of learner participation.
  • Deadlines and guidelines play a crucial structuring role in an otherwise open time frame for online and hybrid courses
  • It is crucial for online instructors to actively connect and engage with their students through video-based introductions to assignments; multimedia “lectures”’ and ongoing, comprehensive, and rapid feedback.
  • Online instructors should be available for students through online office hours; any questions or concerns from students should be addressed within 24 hours on weekdays and as soon as possible on weekends.
  • The structure and organization of an online or hybrid course is very important. The course should feature a logical structure, clear assignments, and delineated requirements and expectations delivered through a learning management system (ie, Moodle).
  • Students in online and hybrid courses should have opportunities to communicate and collaborate with each other through forums, blogs, wikis, and other platforms.
  • Any required synchronous sessions in an online course should include a make-up assignment for students who are unable to attend. Alternate assignments for synchronous work should be the exception. Students should be committed to attend synchronous sessions, unless an emergency occurs. Dates for synchronous sessions should be posted prior to or early in the semester. These meetings should also be recorded and posted to the course page so that they can be viewed at a later time.
FAQ

How is online teaching different from traditional face-to-face teaching?

Online instruction represents a different mode of delivery for course content, assignments, and support. In an online class, the instructor will post assignments, resources, and even exams via Moodle, the learning management system at Ramapo College. The students upload their work to Moodle for the instructor to grade and provide feedback. The online course should also feature opportunities for students to communicate and collaborate through forums, chats, whiteboards, and other online tools. Students in an online course need to be very organized and self-motivated because there are no scheduled class meetings. This is one of the reasons why instructor-student communication is very important; students need to understand the goals and expectations of the course. This communication can occur asynchronously via email or synchronously via Google Hangouts or Adobe Connect.

What is the procedure if I want to teach an online course?

Consult with the convener of your program, as well as the dean of your school, to discuss how the online course you want to teach fits with the overall goals and mission of your program. All online courses are approved at the program and unit levels by conveners and deans.

What resources are available for me if I want to teach an online course?

The Provost’s Office has been offering a stipend in the past to convert an existing course to online format for summer session. Look for the email announcement from the Provost to apply, or contact the Provost’s Office for more information.

How can I gain insight into the pedagogy of teaching online?

Join the Faculty Resource Center’s Online Teaching Circle to learn with your colleagues. The teaching circle is a small group that meets regularly throughout the semester to read and discuss topics relating to online teaching and learning.

How can I learn about available technology and get assistance developing an online course?

Visit the “Technology and Training Resources” section on this page for a variety of resources to get started now. Take advantage of workshops offered by the Instructional Design Center throughout the spring and fall semester. Attend Faculty Development Day, co-sponsored by the IDC and FRC, each spring and fall. Explore available instructional technology at Ramapo, and Technology Guides for Teaching and LearningContact the staff in the Instructional Design Center for more information, or drop by the IDC for one-on-one assistance.

How long will it take to develop an online course?

Start as early as possible. It takes longer than you may anticipate when developing an online course the first time. Modifying or updating an online course will not take as long when you teach it in the future.

What is a Learning Management System?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a platform used to deliver online courses. We use Moodle as our LMS. Moodle allows you to post course resources, create learning activities, setup assignments, manage group work, setup a grade book, communicate with your students, and more. Moodle can also be used for online, hybrid and traditional face-to-face courses.

Are my upcoming courses automatically available in Moodle, or do I have to submit a request?

All course sections for all instructors are created in Moodle by the Moodle Administrator automatically. They are generally available midway through the previous semester, so you have time to begin course development. A notification sent through Moodle, will let you know exactly when they are available.

Are my past courses always available in Moodle?

You maintain access to courses from the last two years in Moodle. Courses older than two years are archived. You need to request archived courses from the Moodle Administrator, Ray Fallon, in order to get access to them.

How do I copy my course content from a previous semester into the upcoming semester?

Copying course content from semester to semester is easy in Moodle. Instructions for importing course content can be found on the moodle.ramapo.edu login page, or stop by the IDC (ASB-020) for assistance.

When will registered students get access to my courses?

Students are added to your Moodle courses by the Moodle administrator, about two weeks before the start of the semester. The instructor needs to edit course settings to make the course visible to students, when you want them to have access to the course content. When the course ends, the instructor should go to the course setting to change the course visibility to “hide.”

How should I communicate with registered students before my online course begins?

When students register for an online course they receive an email from the registrar stating that the course instructor will reach out with requirements and information about the course. This is very important to do, so the expectations and requirements are clear. Send an email introduction to students as early as possible, but be aware students may register up to the add/drop deadline.

What if a registered student cannot access my Moodle course?

Students who have never accessed Moodle before, need to setup their password. Instructions for first-time access to Moodle, or password problems are on moodle.ramapo.edu home page. If students can login to Moodle, but cannot see your course, they should contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@ramapo.edu or by calling 201-684-7777 during business hours. The student needs to provide their name, Ramapo email, course ID number and section, along with the problem.

What happens if a student seems to be struggling with, or failing an online course?

Use Connect to flag the student so that there is a record of the students performance, as well as acknowledgement to the student and their advisor about their performance. The link to Connect can be found on the Moodle login page.