How to Manage Your Online Teacher Workload
My Learning Object created for Unit 2 was this 5 minute film that accompanying and complements this summary of the article that i found and that was written by Kate Butler in 2003.
The intention of doing this LO was to accompanying the text reading and for those people that have visual incapacity be able to access the information.
The following text is a summary for the original article.
An Online teacher can work at home or in his/her workplace. He/She must distinguish between online work and other kind of work and also a home life.
An online teacher must effectively manage his available time. Here are some tips for an efficient time management:
- Have a separate physical space that is set aside for work,
- Allocate set amounts of time for online work,
- Organise your work schedule to be as efficient as possible,
- Be realistic about the amount of time needed to accomplish tasks,
- Work off-line as much as possible, to avoid excessive Internet traffic.
Information management it’s very important since the teacher is dealing with large amounts of information. The digital information has its benefits as it is easier to set up, store and reuse the information. Here are some tips for electronic information management:
- Use templates.”Templates can be a key benefit to working efficiently online as they allow information to be reused and modified for different situations,”
o Administrative emails that are used regularly.
o Feedback on specific student activity work.
o Documents for tracking student progress.
o Documents for administrative record keeping.
o Know your email programme and use filters and mailboxes to sort and store messages.
- Prioritise messages that you receive,
- Keep a structured system of records of student progress in electronic or paper format up-to-date, making copies of student work and keeping accessible records of student details,
- Keep copies of everything and keep information safe, always keep back-up copies of important information and to protect your computer from viruses and unauthorised access. Keep also paper copies of that information in case your computer becomes completely inaccessible,
- Don’t be afraid to use ‘old’ technology.
“There are several different aspects of course design that can affect teacher workload including the types of activities chosen, the technologies used and the timing and overall schedule of work.”
Certain activity types may require less teacher input, just as:
- Group based activities,
- Quizzes and multiple choice questionnaires,
- Self-assessed and computer assessed tasks.
Some technologies allow teachers (and students) to work more efficiently, for example:
- Asynchronous communication,
- Being able to work off-line,
- ‘Low-tech’ web based technologies.
Here are some tips for an efficient timing and structure:
- Having a variation of activity types, ensuring that heavy tasks are not all scheduled consecutively,
- Allowing enough time for completion of activities and for feedback, by having knowledge of the complexity of the different activities,
- Providing structure and reminders to help students stay on track, by having deadlines for individual activity work,
- Encouraging student self-direction.
Teacher Support is very important especially at the start of a course.
Some examples of useful resources for a course starts are:
- A teacher guide,
- Guidance on effective time and information management,
- Up-to-date copies of documents that students will need,
- Guidelines on how to manage students online,
- An active mentoring scheme,
- An online teacher support forum by having an online discussion forum.
“For online teachers to be efficient and to be able to teach effectively, it is important that difficulties they encounter with any hardware, software, course materials or communication facilities are resolved as quickly and easily as possible. Although this can depend a great deal on having technical support staff willing and able to respond quickly to specific problems, there are also strategies that teachers can employ to help themselves. Some examples are to:”
- Keep up-to-date anti-virus software,
- Keep regular back-ups of important documents,
- Ensure your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is reliable,
- Have an alternative method to access the Internet,
- Insure your personal computer.
- Have access to an alternative email address.
It can also help to have:
- An online discussion forum for general technical problems,
- Frequently Asked Questions,
- A system for warning of foreseeable technical problems.
“You will find, with experience that you develop your own strategies for managing your workload, depending on the type of programme you are teaching, your students and your work arrangements. It may be that some workload management strategies need to be provided by your employer whilst others depend upon your own awareness and needs. With attention to time and information management, sympathetic course design and suitable support, you should be able to find an approach that works for you and allows you to manage your workload effectively.”