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Qualities of an Effective Online Instructor

Characteristic that surround and reflect what it means to be a Effective Online Instructor

Have you ever wondered what characteristics an online instructor should have to be effective?

Well… there are many characteristics that can help us be effective as online instructors. Here, we will be discussing some of these characteristics and how they impact the online learning environment.

For example, one of the most important characteristics we should have, in order to be effective as online instructors, is compromise. It is very important we believe in what we do and we care about our students and transmitting knowledge.

We need to be able to compromise and have consistency in our participation. An online instructor is dedicated to his/ her students. We actively participate in class and answer all questions and concerns in 24 hours or less.

Dedication is very important. Being dedicated means we believe in what we do. We enjoy helping others understand new things. Our students’ success is our success.

Another very important characteristic effective online instructors have is passion. We love what we do and we look for different and innovative ways to transfer knowledge to students. We are constantly learning about new methods of instruction. Being passionate means we never give up on a student who wants to learn. We find the perfect way to help them understand concepts and ideas that are important for their future success.

Responsibility is a major trait in an online instructor. We check our classrooms often. More than once a day! If one student is missing from the online environment, we look for him/ her. We contact their advisors. We offer help! We show we care!

Attention to detail is also very important. We read students messages and understand what they are saying. We pay attention to the message behind those words.

We get to know our student from the first day of class. Who they are and what their needs are. We understand their situation in life. We have empathy toward them.

In online education, our students are non-traditional students. Understanding their needs is important for us. This is the best way to facilitate a class while making sure our students are gaining value from it.

Now, here is another important thing about online instructors. They understand diversity! Our online classrooms are full of diverse people. Again, we need to understand their needs, ways of communication and styles among many other aspects. As online instructors we need to understand that everyone is different and that those differences make us unique and part of a wonderful world.

Online instructors are coaches and facilitators. We are here because we want to help others become better. We want to lead our students to the information that will help them be effective learners.

As online instructors, it is very important that we are effective communicators. This means we need to transfer messages in a simple and easy way for others to understand. We need to listen/ read in an active way. We don’t want noise in our communication. This can disrupt the learning environment.

Leading by example is the most important aspect for effective online instructors. If you show your students how things are done, they will learn. For example, if you ask your students to use APA Style in their discussion posts, you need to use APA Style yourself. That is what leading by example means.

Effective online instructors never ask students to do things they are not willing to do themselves.

Remember, to be an effective online instructor, we need to care for our students, have passion for what we do, have compromise, be consistent and dedicated, help others succeed and always lead by example.

How effective are you as an online instructor?

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SNHU is a nonprofit, institutionally accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs. Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.