I just taught my first course that finished last week and I was asked to teach the same course for next semester. The only difference is that this time I will be teaching the course online.
I have taken online courses before and haven't been super impressed. In my experience the instructor will assign reading to be done within a week and any assignments that will be completed from that week. The instructor doesn't teach in an online environment but more so moderates that way students learn. The student reads the text, does the work. The instructor responds to emails, grades assignments, and moderates discussion boards posted in the online forum for students to collaborate.
This format has the student teach themselves and from personal experiences students who are not familiar with the course material beforehand generally don't do as well.
What are methods to make the online learning experience less informal and more of a learning experience?