I am currently serving as an online teaching mentor in @One’s online teaching certification program. Today I spent an hour with a mentee who is refining his online class. One of the things we talked about was the importance of “clear instructions” when teaching online. Clear instructions make or break a class. And taking the extra time to be clear upfront saves you a lot of time in the end, and keeps your students focused on important things — like learning!
He is integrating VoiceThread into his class but didn’t have instructions prepared for his students explaining how to use it. So I copied my instructions into a PDF and sent them off to him. Then I started thinking about how many other instructors (and student) could benefit from those instructions. I once had a professor tell me, “If I could just have all the ‘how to’ instructions provided for me, I’d be so much more comfortable with using new tools.”
So, I pasted the instructions into a document, added a Creative Commons 0 license which “dedicates” (I love that word) it into the public domain. That means you are free to use them — one piece, half, the entire thing — without asking my permission or feeling like you’re “taking my stuff.” Ahhh, doesn’t that feel good? 🙂
I have the instructions shared on the Educator Guides tab of my blog and you can grab them from the link below too. I encourage them to be shared in conjunction with the “How to Participate” guide (which I require attribution for if you use it).
Download the VoiceThread Student Instructions.
What content of your own could you dedicate to the public domain that other educators could benefit from? If you find this resource helpful, I hope you’ll consider giving back and promoting a culture of sharing.