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Sunday, January 16, 2011

BE VOCAL: Characteristics of Successful Online Instructors

Read this interesting article, appears in the edition of the Journal of Interactive Online Learning.

BE VOCAL: Characteristics of Successful Online Instructors
By John R. Savery, The University of Akron.

While classroom teaching and management strategies are well documented, the online learning environment presents different challenges and benefits. Teaching in an online environment requires a special set of teaching skills since many of the strategies and tactics associated with best teaching practices are somewhat constrained by the primarily text-based environment. The VOCAL approach summarizes the key characteristics that a master instructor utilizes to be effective in an online environment. VOCAL is an acronym for Visible, Organized, Compassionate, Analytical and Leader-by-example. The ability of the teacher to effectively infuse these characteristics into their instructional practice – to BE VOCAL - will promote a supportive, challenging, constructive, rigorous and effective instructional environment. Instructors who practice a VOCAL approach will have more productive learning environments, fewer management problems and more positive learning experiences with their students.

About the Author
John R. Savery completed a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology in 1996 at Indiana University (Bloomington). Four years at DePaul University providing faculty professional development and teaching multiple undergraduate and graduate courses led to a faculty position in the College of Education at The University of Akron. John is currently the Director of the Department of Instructional Services within the Information Technology Services division at the University of Akron.
Dr. Savery can be contacted at

Source: Journal of Interactive Online Learning