Teaching a Distance Education Version of the Technical Communication Service Course: Timesaving Strategies

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The author has taught a distance education version of the undergraduate technical communication service course at Boise State University since 1997 and shares the strategies he has found to decrease the time instructors spend teaching online, thereby enabling them to use the time they do have to enhance their students’ online experience. These strategies are distributed among four areas: management of collaboration, presentation of course material, grading, and interaction with students. For each one, the author presents the problems that may occur and approaches to resolving them. The article addresses a number of concerns expressed in the scholarly literature on distance education and is informed by surveys given to five sections of the author’s course taught between 2001 and 2003. Interspersed through the article is an overview of some of the current research and commentary on distance education of particular interest to those teaching the technical communication service course via the Internet.

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