Q&A: Outside resources for online learning

Question: Are there any additional resources provided for online students, outside of the course book? If so, what types?

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.

Beverly Browning

Dr. Beverley BrowningDr. Beverly A. Browning has been consulting in the areas of grant writing, contract bid responses, and organizational development for nearly four decades. Her clients have included chambers of commerce, faith-based organizations, units of local and county municipal governments, state and federal government agencies, school districts and colleges, social and human service agencies, hospitals, fire departments, service associations, and Fortune 500 corporations. Dr. Browning has assisted clients and workshop participants throughout the United States in receiving awards of more than $250 million. Dr. Browning is the author of over 37 grants-related publications, including Grant Writing For Dummies", Grant Writing for Educators, How to Become a Grant Writing Consultant, Faith-Based Grants: Aligning Your Church to Receive Abundance, and Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals. She holds degrees in Organizational Development, Public Administration, and Business Administration. Dr. Browning is a grant writing course developer and online facilitator for Ed2Go.com; former faculty member at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management and a current member of the American Association of Grant Professionals. She is CEO of Bev Browning & Associates (BBA, Inc.); Founder and Director of the Grant Writing Training, and most recently, the new Vice President for Grants Professional Services at eCivis Inc. (www.ecivis.com)