What the best Teachers do

(1) Fostering student engagement

  • Create a community of learners
  • Foster student-to-faculty and student-to-student interaction
  • Judicious and strategic use of humor
  • Creative and engaging use of videos, chats, podcasts, wikis, and discussion forums
  • Use blogs to facilitate reflective thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge construction

(2) Stimulating intellectual development

  • Create natural critical learning environments
  • Generate provocative acts, questions, statements
  • Reflect on students‟ inaccurate and incomplete preconceptions or mental models Use technology to create engaging and authentic content

(3) Building rapport with students

  • Understand one‟s student population and determine the amount of help needed
  • Let students get to know their teacher
  • Use introductory video or other self-disclosure resources
  • Keep written records of communication that include relevant student information
  • Be flexible with deadlines and due dates
  • Provide individualized feedback on assignments and activities


(*) General Categories of What the Best Teachers Do (after Bain, 2004) with Examples and Behaviors Specific to Online Teaching 



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