Keep in mind that the summer semester moves twice as fast as the regular 15-week semesters. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to be twice as active in your discussion in the summer and to answer questions and critique/grade assignments in half the time allowed in a regular term. This means that you will answer questions within about 12 hours (M-F) and grade homework within 3 business days. Learn More: Standards for Online Instructors.
Tips & Suggestions
- Get organized in advance. The summer term moves very fast, so it’s critical that you get organized beforehand, so you can get the class off to a good start.
- Use the Online Module Calendar to set up your deadlines and to plan. Be sure to check the module timing carefully: the length of modules may vary. For example, odd-numbered modules may last 3 three days and even-numbered modules 4 days (or vice versa). You may find it helpful to extend and overlap the dates of your topics, to allow students sufficient time to complete their work. Talk with your Teaching Coach about how best to set up your deadlines.
- Warn students about the pace, requirements, etc., right up front: e.g., "If you're having a baby, changing jobs, taking a vacation, or moving this summer, you might want to think twice about whether you can handle the workload for this class."
- Talk with your about adjusting assignments, so that students can complete the required work; minimize redundancy.
- Try having two assignment or discussion topics open concurrently: i.e., the topics for Modules 1 and 2 are due at the same time at the end of the first week... and so on.
- Or... stick strictly to the given schedule, in order to eliminate confusion for your students — and aggravation for yourself.
- Post a full schedule of all deadlines at the start of the term, so students can plan their time.
- Take the shorter timeframe into account when grading: in a short term, there may not be time for students to develop the same skills that students can develop in spring or fall.
- Don't delay in contacting dilatory students: there's no time in the summer for anyone to fall behind.
- Don’t delay. Period. Address issues immediately (e.g., call the Help Desk ASAP if there are technical problems or students haven’t received course materials).