The following is a guest blog post by Joe Moreau. Joe is one of our online Consumer Economics eLo teachers along with being a business teacher at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL. Joe also serves as a head girl's soccer coach, DECA Advisor, and the Vice-President of the Girl's Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association. In this post, Joe sheds light toward the general online learning environment. You may follow Joe on Twitter, @JoeMoreau1.
I am in my 13th year teaching online classes--one of the longest amounts of time from any teacher in IPSD 204. I look forward to meeting my new students each semester. As an online teacher, I become familiar with my students differently compared to the face-to-face environment. For example, discussion boards are one of my favorite parts of the course because I enjoy reading student responses along with their reaction to the posts of their peers. E-mails and phone calls are also effective ways for me communicate with my students.
I have observed students opening up and becoming more comfortable in the virtual setting--this isn't always the case in face-to-face classes. However, online learning isn't the best environment for all learners. Some students need a little nudge to begin the work. In addition, teachers need to be cognizant of when their students access the course. One of the primary benefits for students enrolled in an online course is the 24/7 access they have to content. Many students prefer evening or weekend hours. For this reason, I reserve a few evenings during the week to answer student questions.
I am fortunate that I may turn to the eLo administration as well as exceptional colleagues that also teach an online course. Together, our conversations have proven valuable along with the past in-service training received. Overall, I have enjoyed teaching online classes the past 13 years. I hope to continue teaching them in the future.