Q&A: Outside resources for online learning
Answer: Online teachers strive to engage students in the online classroom. Since you aren't in a traditional classroom, it's important to keep students motivated and interested in the content. To do this, instructors may often incorporate both multimedia and social media into the course.
One example is films and movie clips. Students usually enjoy seeing the content applied to a relevant situation. Also, it opens the door for class discussions, etc. Generally, the movies are available for students to view at any time during the course. Instructors can create specific discussion questions and/or quizzes around the films.
A second example is PowerPoint presentations. Often, course lectures are via PowerPoint and/or they are available for students to review. PowerPoints are great to refer to when working on assignments and studying for tests/quizzes.
There is a new form of "PowerPoint" called prezi (www.prezi.com). This is a great resource and tool for both instructors and students. Prezi allows multiple images on one slide and zooming in and out of specific details.
Many courses have a specific folder or "place" for student resources. Resources include additional websites relevant to the course content. These resources may include journal, academic or magazine articles. Depending on the topic, some instructors incorporate academic videos. Another resource that's gained an academic following is YouTube (www.youtube.com). Over the past few years, teachers of all levels are utilizing YouTube's tutoring and instructional videos.
As additional outlets for social media increases, so do the opportunities for high schools and colleges to incorporate them into their classrooms. For instance, some instructors have class Facebook pages or they incorporate blogs or wikis (online spaces to communicate). Both are ways for instructors and students to engage about the course topic online. The use of social media is increasing in both traditional and online environments.