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Online Instruction Techniques

Can someone help with how instructors would introduce themselves in the informal classroom meeting area and (2) to describe what they think when they hear the word "psychology." Also, after getting a message from one of the students, Carlos James, introducing himself to the class, what would be the appropriate respond to his introduction? (See attached introduction). Should the instructor response to Carlos in a private email or a group reply? Should the instructor point out to Carlos that portions of his introduction is inappropriate and why? How can an instructor possibly respond to Carlos's inappropriate remarks without destroying any rapport the instructor has built with him?

Carlos: Hi everyone, my name is Carlos James and I live in Chicago, Illinois. I am a psychology major and this is my first class. I am so excited! I was diagnosed as bipolar several years ago and spent some time in a mental hospital, but now it is under control with meds and I feel great! I have always wanted to study more about psychology and understand myself better. My wife, Elena, and I have 3 children (Marcos, Marta, and Carlos, Jr.) and are really happy together, she is a wonderful wife, mother, and lover! I am looking forward to talking to you all!

When I think of psychology, I remember my time in the hospital. I was in so much pain, I kept going from bouncing off the walls to a deep dark depression and the psychologist really helped me. When I was in the hospital, my wife left me and took the kids, it was months before they returned home. I think of psychology as a way to help people in mental pain. I remember once, before I started on my meds when I was arrested for running around my neighborhood naked. Now, I am embarrassed about that time but then it seemed like a logical thing to do. Now I am doing better and I can't wait to get off the meds!

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My name is Jason Blair and it is my pleasure to be assisting you today with some notes regarding generally appropriate online teaching techniques. By way of introduction, I am a professor in the state of Arizona.

Some years ago, I began instructing some of my courses online. As your post alludes to, the means of introducing me to the class and of facilitating the course in general, is quite different from that of the traditional classroom. The first part of your question involves how an instructor should introduce him or herself to the classroom:

The key here is connection. Without every physically seeing the students, the instructor wants to connect with their students. Students, in turn, want to see the human side of their instructor as well. I feel (and teach new online instructors) that there are three components to an effective teacher introduction. They are Childhood background, academic or professional experience, and hobbies. These three areas cover both the personal and professional side of the instructor, and it creates that connection with the class in a quick and effective manner. The students want to know that their professor is qualified. Why else would they spend the money and the time required to be successful in the class? This is the chance for the instructor to highlight their qualifications, without sounding 'above' ...

Solution Summary

A discussion about the appropriate was for an instructor to introduce him or herself to the class, and how to respond to inappropriate postings made by a student.