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Section 1.4 Preparing to Teach Online

Many instructors think they have to be a computer expert or a “techie” to have the qualifications to teach online. Authors Ko and Rossen (2004) in the book Teaching Online: A Practical Guide assert, “Techies don’t necessarily make the best online instructors. An interest in pedagogy should come first, technology second” (p. 16). It is important to make the technology as “transparent as possible, and it should be viewed as a tool to enable learning the content of the course” (O’Neil et al., p. 64).

Necessary Basic Computer and Internet Skills

To get started, all you need to have are the following basic computer and internet knowledge and skills:

  • Setting up folders and directories on a hard drive
  • Proper use of word processing software: cut, copy, and paste; minimize and maximize windows; save files
  • Handle email communications including attachments
  • Use a browser to access the Internet
  • Blackboard basics such as making your course available, managing the course menu, adding items, and attaching files.
  • ASU Blackboard Support Course for Faculty. (All faculty are enrolled in the Blackboard Support for Faculty course.)

If you are lacking in these skills, ASU’s E-Learning centers provide workshops and one on one training sessions to help you develop these skills and many others. The more you know about Blackboard and its features, the more control you will have over your course.

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