Teaching Online Title Beginner's Guide Heading with Picture of Ignition  


woman looking out window The virtual classroom environment can be confining. It can be exciting and educational to expand beyond this and bring the outside world into your virtual classroom.


  • Call or email professionals, experts, those who work in your field, other instructors, or those who have had personal experiences with your course content
  • Be sure to explain to your guest how online works (login instructions, time frame for the visit, how to used Dbs, what to expect)
  • For adding guest lecturers or others to your Bb containers, fill out the form on the GCCCD Blackboard Requests site: Add a User (they will be enrolled as a student with TA - temporary access)
  • Open up a Db thread for one week or so (be sure to prepare students ahead of time)
  • Instead of using Dbs, you can set up a live chat session with Bb recorded transcripts for those who cannot attend (these tend to be chaotic, so see the sidebar in Using Groups)
  • Have students interview someone related to course material (in person, by phone, by email)
  • Post their interview (or a recording or video) to Bb
  • Have students observe people or a situation that relates to course material
Field Trips
  • Have students visit a course-related location and report (prepare assignment instructions and questions)
  • Examples: a church for religious studies, court for law, planetarium for astronomy
Cross-Cultural Assignment
  • Explore other countries by Web search
  • Google has a language translator
  • You might even set up correspondence through similar online courses in other countries (perfect for history, languages, political science)
  • Google has a text translator
  • Have students view a movie (theater or rented) that relates to class material
  • Exchange material with other instructors here or across the world (search for schools)
  • Share video, animations, presentations
  • Simulate laboratory experiments using household items
  • See the sidebar in Choosing Materials


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Sidebar - In Focus

Cindy Morrin discusses her experiences with guests.