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Table of Contents

147 Practical Tips for Synchronous and Blended Technology Teaching and Learning
by Rosemary M. Lehman and Richard A. Berg




   Why Synchronous Technologies?
   Why Blended Technologies?
   Selecting Technologies—Twelve Questions to Ask
   A Little Theory
   What’s the Difference?
   A Lot of Practice

   1. Ensure administrative support before and throughout the course
   2. Read about synchronous/blended technologies
   3. Talk to peers who have taught via the same technology
   4. Secure the help of a distance education instructional designer/trainer
   5. Select the appropriate technology
   6. Self-reflect and examine your assumptions and philosophy
   7. Leave your comfort zone
   8. Let your personality shine through
   9. Highlight your strong points
   10. Strengthen your limitations
   11. Learn about presentation skills
   12. Learn to be flexible
   13. Change will help you grow in new directions
   14. Learn to create a virtual presence
   15. Market your course
   16. Simplify registration
   17. Focus on the learners, not the technology

   18. Understanding learners is essential
   19. Think learner-centered and perceptual learning
   20. Ask learners to fill out a profile
   21. Ask for pictures of learners, pets, or hobbies
   22. Ask about learner characteristics
   23. Ask about learner needs
   24. Ask about learner expectations from the course
   25. Ask about level of learner expertise
   26. Provide options and choices
   27. Ask about special needs
   28. Test for learning styles
   29. Find out about cultural backgrounds
   30. Determine international considerations
   31. Decide on other essential information
   32. Help learners create a virtual presence
   33. Develop a class roster
   34. Explore the origination site’s physical environment
   35. Find out about the remote sites
   36. Assure that all sites are accessible
   37. Be mindful of the appearance of all sites
   38. Avoid room clutter at each site
   39. Avoid any distractions
   40. Ensure proper lighting in all areas of the room
   41. Collaborate for optimum console/desk arrangements
   42. Arrange for appropriate equipment components
   43. Ensure that technology is well-maintained
   44. All sites should be equal
   45. Develop a site and contact list
   46. Test all visuals and technology features
   47. Practice, practice, practice!
   48. Provide a technology orientation for students
   49. Personal considerations: ensure student comfort
   50. Set the tone during the first session
   51. Use learned skills to create presence and a virtual room
   52. Plan, plan, plan!

   53. Develop a detailed timeline
   54. Begin communications with team/contacts
   55. Define team functions
   56. Define roles/responsibilities with each team player
   57. Train team players in necessary areas
   58. Ensure that equipment and software is tested before the first session
   59. Ensure that the remote bridging is tested
   60. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
   61. Be prepared and well organized for your part as instructor
   62. Create advance information for registration
   63. Prepare a welcome letter
   64. Develop a detailed syllabus
   65. Provide an instructor profile or bio
   66. Determine your method for office hours
   67. Decide on what is public and what is private
   68. Develop course guidelines
   69. Develop online tutorials as necessary
   70. Work with an instructional designer for program design
   71. Develop instructor and learner protocols
   72. Consider your overall content, goals, and objectives/outcomes
   73. Develop content scope and sequence
   74. Determine individual sessions and chunk into modules
   75. Think visually with your content
   76. Think interactively with your content
   77. Consider the six types of interaction
   78. Develop individual experiences
   79. Develop group experiences
   80. Create ongoing learning experiences
   81. Select appropriate interaction activities thoughtfully
   82. Develop effective visuals and graphics
   83. Consider other media and tools
   84. Develop appropriate print materials
   85. Become familiar with copyright law
   86. Become familiar with fair use law
   87. Develop a copyright audit list
   88. Acquire copyright clearance
   89. Be aware of trademark acknowledgment
   90. Develop contributor release forms
   91. Develop on-camera release forms
   92. Develop contingency plans for various situations

   93. Ensure structure, but allow for spontaneity
   94. Set the stage for success
   95. Frame camera shots for video or still pictures
   96. Ensure that audio is level at all sites
   97. Use learned presentation skills
   98. Maintain your energy level
   99. Use your learned listening skills
   100. Balance eye contact between local and remote learners
   101. Utilize your voice as an instrument
   102. Minimize gestures and repetitive behaviors
   103. Start on time and end on time
   104. Manage your time effectively
   105. Ask learners to turn off cell phones, pagers, and mobile devices
   106. Personalize from the beginning
   107. Facilitate site-by-site introductions
   108. Follow your instructor protocol
   109. Implement the student protocol
   110. Integrate interaction and visuals
   111. Allow for reflection opportunities
   112. Provide time for adequate breaks
   113. Ensure that participants act responsibly
   114. Use learned skills to motivate learners
   115. Draw on learner experiences
   116. Encourage learners to be proactive
   117. Use learned skills to create a sense of community
   118. Prepare guest experts for the new environment
   119. Continue contact with instructional design support
   120. Continue contact with training support
   121. Guarantee ongoing technical support at all sites
   122. Continue contact with graphics support
   123. Work closely with site coordinators for support
   124. Work closely with resources support
   125. Ensure ongoing special needs support

   126. Create a pre-test for expectations, experience, and knowledge level
   127. Create a post-test to measure changes from pre-test
   128. Explore feedback opportunities
   129. Develop and integrate activities for feedback
   130. Use feedback to reshape course
   131. Ensure immediate instructor feedback
   132. Create questionnaires for survey responses
   133. Create polls for quick response statistics
   134. Develop and implement your overall course evaluation
   135. Evaluate learner progress in the course
   136. Evaluate interaction during the course
   137. Evaluate course discussion
   138. Evaluate course projects
   139. Evaluate group collaboration
   140. Evaluate the course materials
   141. Evaluate the site coordinators
   142. Evaluate the technology
   143. Evaluate the overall course design with team members
   144. Evaluate the instructor’s methods
   145. Evaluate the effectiveness of the course

   146. Relax and be yourself
   147. Enjoy!

   Developing and Designing for Emerging Technologies




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