There are lots of things that instructors can do to foster a positive online learning environment.
Errol Craig Sull, an online instructor for 17 years, with a national reputation in the subject, suggests that personality is hugely important in online learning, and outlines several suggestions for conveying a positive, supportive, and enthusiastic personality in online instruction in the link below:
His comment regarding vocabulary choice particularly caught my attention. He says, “Be careful of your vocabulary choice. Each of us has words we use on a regular basis; they are part of who and what we are, and they often simply pour out. But our online courses demand that we pay special attention to the words we write, the context of those words, and the perception of the message we are trying to get across. Once posted, our words will live on throughout the course.”
It takes me a considerable amount of time to write a post in a discussion forum because I am trying to make sure that I am communicating clearly, and that the language I use invites others in. It also takes time to research, read and select resources associated with a topic.
What do you think about the points Errol makes? Do you agree or disagree that personality matters when teaching an online course?