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Virtual Teacher

University of California, Irvine via Coursera Specialization


This series of courses provides best practices for online instruction, student engagement and virtual community building; effective uses of asynchronous and synchronous technologies, social media and other emerging technologies; and data analysis techniques and student performance measurements to individualize instruction in an online or blended environment. The courses in this Specialization may be taken in any order. Each course can be taken independently. The Specialization concludes with a final project that will give you the opportunity to integrate and apply the skills you have gained throughout the courses.


Course 1: Foundations of Virtual Instruction
- Welcome to Foundations of Virtual Instruction! This course will help you 'up' your game and develop the advanced skills and techniques that elude even some of the most experienced virtual teachers in the K-12 space. Examine pitfalls and learn how to overcome them by focusing on the fundamentals that have the most significant impact on student learning in a blended or online environment. When you complete this course, you will be able to: • Craft virtual learning experiences that align with your student's needs. • Set up a learning environment to get to know your students, and they get to know each other. • Use a variety of online tools to provide feedback and personalize the learning experience. • Identify at-risk students and employ effective strategies for teaching them. • Compare and contrast online and face-to-face learning communities. • Apply strategies to make virtual courses more human.

Course 2: Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom
- Welcome to Emerging Trends and Technologies in K-12! This course will help you evaluate and implement technology in the most useful way within your virtual classroom setting. We will discuss the possibilities and challenges of using technology in fully online environments, although many of the ideas can be applied to blended and traditional environments as well. This course is focused on emerging trends and technologies, specifically for K-12 instructors. Most of the content will be aimed at high school-aged students in the U.S., or ages 13-18 in other countries. Due to the nature of some of the internet-based technologies, young students are required to be 13 or older to participate. That said, many of the examples we discuss can apply to younger ages. This course is focused on virtual education. In other words, blended or fully online teaching and learning experiences. Nevertheless, you can apply the concepts to a traditional class, adult education, and higher education. Lastly, please note that many of the examples will be U.S. based. Upon completing this course, you will be able to: • Define educational technology's role in supporting the virtual environment. • Identify and evaluate existing and emerging technologies for virtual course instruction or curriculum development. • Use collaborative learning tools to design and assess learning activities. • Use game-based strategies to deepen student engagement in virtual courses. • Research, evaluate, and employ open content in virtual education. • Debate the role of MOOCs in virtual K-12 education.

Course 3: Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom
- Welcome to Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom! This course will help you apply strategies to the critical areas of K-12 virtual instruction to significantly impact virtual education. We will examine the pitfalls beginning teachers run into and learn how to overcome them by focusing on the fundamentals that have the greatest impact on student learning in a blended or online environment. By the end of the course, you will be able to empower your students to be voracious learners who are ready to go out and make the world a better place to live. Upon completing this course, you will be able to: • Identify the role of direct instruction within a virtual course. • Establish direct communication and meaningful relationships with your students. • Use instructional strategies that motivate and challenge your students to think more critically. • Define at-risk students and examine effective strategies for teaching this demographic. • Build an inclusive and thriving online community with students, parents, and other teaching professionals.

Course 4: Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom
- Welcome to Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom! This course will help you effectively assess student performance virtually, including compliance issues, feedback models, online grade book functions, and data analysis. We will discuss why effective measures of performance and assessment are a crucial component of any virtual program, and the importance of teachers and administrators understanding both the myths and challenges of assessing performance virtually, administering standardized testing with geographical challenges, and complying with state and local requirements to make sure students are meeting requirements. Through the successful completion of this course, you will be able to: • Examine the importance of authentic performance and assessment in the virtual classroom. • Discuss academic integrity and remote assessments in the virtual classroom. • Apply best practices for data analysis and grade book management. • Consider performance and assessment for special populations: gifted, at-risk, and special needs students. • Discuss the importance of instructional feedback and monitoring progress and performance using technology.

Course 5: Virtual Teacher Final Project
- The Final Project will be a hands-on, comprehensive project that practitioners of virtual education can implement in their profession. For this final project, learners will draft a design plan for an online learning module utilizing materials learned from the virtual teacher series. Learners will choose the subject matter, method of delivery, tools, instructional strategies, and assessments, with the goal of creating a module of online or blended instruction that meets the needs of their students. Learners do not have to create, develop or teach the online learning module they design. Upon completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Design a fully online or blended instructional module 2. Apply theories and/or strategies of effective online instruction


Taught by

Chris Long, Cindy Carbajal, Melissa Joell Loble, M.A., MBA, Racquel Nedden and Victoria Roth O'Neal

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    I want to improve myself in the virtual school as it is a long and inevitable path.
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