My Teaching Online book currently is available to download for free at JHUP's Web site! Check it out here:https://t.co/QMYO6Cluj2— Claire Major (@ClaireHMajor) May 14, 2020
Do you like free books? I do. How about a free, content-rich book that meets an immediate need? Heck yes! Claire Major's book Teaching Online: A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice is currently available for download at this link. My suspicion is that this is a limited-time offer. I'm halfway through, and have found every chapter useful. I highly recommend getting it while you can.
Teaching Online presents the basics of online instruction. The focus is on teaching and not on particular technology. There are chapters on course structure, planning, instructional time, communication, and student engagement. The last three are my greatest weaknesses when teaching online. (I teach face-to-face classes to keep myself on task.)
I've been able to find useful information even in the chapters that do not address my particular situation. When I read the table of contents, the chapter "Views of Learning" is one that I planned on skimming. I teach math at a community college, which means the substantial majority of students take my course only because it is a graduation requirement. Getting students to go beyond rote learning is a battle I have fought and lost over multiple semesters. "Views of Learning" introduced me to the learning theory of connectivism. At first glance, connectivism is a framework that both my students and I can get behind.
When my college transitioned to remote instruction this spring, the administration provided resources to help us make the change. There are some professional development seminars on my schedule for this summer. Unfortunately, these resources are all aimed at how to use the available educational software at our college. This is analogous to using a bus repair manual to train a tour guide. Instead, a tour guide needs a book that covers public speaking and local history. Teaching Online, thankfully, fills this role in my professional development. I am happy I had the opportunity to get it.