Managing your time and managing student expectations when teaching online: MicroCPD Transcription

Teaching online brings with it opportunities and challenges. Apart from the challenges of pedagogy and technology, a real challenge is without doubt managing our time.

When your classroom is effectively your bedroom or living room, the boundaries between teaching and other work-and indeed life-may become blurred.

Managing our time when teaching online can be difficult when we are not physically entering and leaving a classroom at the start and end of a lecture or seminar. It is easy to remain online, either synchronously or asynchronously, and spend more time in online discussions, than we would have on campus. Likewise, it is easy to stretch office hours since we don’t have the physical limitations of a set time slot in our office.

Key to avoiding spending too long on online teaching is to set at the start a set timeframe within which you do such work (such as responding to online discussions and giving feedback to online tasks).

It is also extremely important to communicate such principles, boundaries, and expectations to your students at the start (this is in fact a good principle regardless of the modality).

Some good ideas are:

  • Designate a time for carrying out teaching-related tasks (such as monitoring online discussions and giving feedback)
  • Have explicit boundaries between your teaching interactions with students and other work you do
  • Communicate clear expectations to your students, such as time they are expected to spend on tasks
  • Create clear instructions for your students, focused on the outcomes of activities, such as what they are expected to produce by the end of an activity online.

I have created a checklist you can download below which should help you structure your time and online teaching to manage time more effectively. You should also consider the relevant sections in the HEFi Remote Teaching Resource (link below).