It is generally agreed that online classes take more time, especially at the beginning of development. Better adjustment sometimes comes after many changes are made to one's courses and to one's approach to online teaching. Below is a discussion of some of the issues. Each instructor must find their own balance and solution.



Class Size


Class sizes at gcccd are larger than those  recommended by experts

  • Stay in tune, but remain somewhat on the sidelines - somewhere between a teacher and a proctor - more of a coach and cheerleader (see sidebar graphic)
  • Use TAs or try team-teaching dividing work by task or week (note: this can be confusing for student contact)
  • Encourage students to email each other for answers to questions (set up a Db for this)
  • Use more group activities with student leaders - Using Groups
  • Do not make your grading system and assignments too complex or numerous
  • Set boundaries for your online time
  • Think twice about accepting crashers
  • If you include an on-campus orientation, your online class enrollment max will be limited to seats in your orientation room
  • Begin district discussions to reduce online class size in the district (see sidebar interview)

Online Students

  • Can be more demanding and difficult
  • Excess emails expecting immediate reply
  • Student tech problems
  • Use class-wide announcements to eliminate individual questions
  • Refer students to your FAQs or keep stock answers to common questions in a file on your desktop for cut/paste
  • State clearly how long students should expect for a reply to email (48 hours) and whether you reply on weekends
  • Demand clarity on email subject headings (Bb gives section#, but some students use outside email)
  • Be clear that you do not handle computer problems or do troubleshooting (give Help Desk contact info)
  • See Problem Students or Computer Literacy for many more solutions

an Online Course

  • Instructor tech problems
  • Too many tasks
  • Excessive first-time development work
  • Prepare ahead for teaching online
  • Keep your courses simple
  • Automate parts of your course (such as writing all announcements ahead of time)
  • Design a course that minimizes changes semester-to-semester
  • Use publisher content or another instructor's template
  • Organize your hard drive with folders that mimic your course (and backup frequently)
  • USE TWO MONITORS - this will definitely make grading easier - by placing, say, the student paper on one screen, while you are writing comments in Bb on the other (this is HUGE time-saver)
  • Contact Amber Toland Perry or use the Help Desk



Working Styles: Lecture versus Online

Lecture (face-to-face): Teacher as Center
Online's "Guide on the Side"