What I want from online classes: Part 2

If you missed part 1, click here.

Professor, please give us a complete and informative syllabus

Include course objectives and expected outcomes. What do you expect from us? What should we expect from you?

Include an explanation of our assignments and a grading rubric. How much are weekly assignments worth? How about the midterm and the final? Participation in discussion forums is required, but is it graded by week? By semester? Spell it out.

Include information about our required textbook(s). Are there any supplemental readings? Are they in pdf format? Put them all in one place and give them to us up front.

Include a schedule for the semester, with assignments for each week. Please don’t parcel out assignments week by week. We’re non-trads with busy lives. Sometimes we have limited pockets of reading and study time available to us. Sometimes we need to work ahead now because we know we’ll be too busy to get anything done the next week. This is especially important for reading assignments.

Much of this is probably the same for live classes, but I think it’s even more crucial for an online class where all student-prof interface occurs on a screen. Save yourself a bunch of emailed questions by giving us complete information right from the start.

Next time…Professor, please take advantage of the technology.

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4 Responses to What I want from online classes: Part 2

  1. Pingback: Online Learning and Online Teaching | Going the Distance…Three Credits at a Time

  2. Ken Elliott says:


    Tom Abbott (Library UMA) put me on to your blog. He’s impressed as am I. Developing (UMA) course websites is what I do for a living :) Your perspective is MOST helpful. I’ve read all three of your postings on this subject. Perhaps you’d be interest in advising me how to get more students involved in advising about website and course designs. Thanks again for your postings.

    Ken Elliott
    Prof. of Psychology

    • leenthebean says:

      Ken, I’m thrilled to get feedback from a professor, and especially positive feedback. Thanks so much! I’m glad my ideas are helpful. Let me how I can help. Maybe a roundtable discussion with students, either live or video-conference? I’d love to be part of that.

  3. Pingback: What I want from online classes: Part 3 | Going the Distance…Three Credits at a Time

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