Any educator who engages in ongoing professional development knows most of the topics written about are usually related to classroom management, technology, future trends, and even online classroom presence. Yet the one topic that is not readily available, and isn't easy to train faculty about, is supporting the needs and growth of online students. This is not a procedural matter, rather it's a disposition held by each individual educator.
Online teaching can be a transformative experience for educators and students alike. One of the reasons this occurs is the discourse available through online discussion boards, when both exchange ideas and engage in intellectual discourse. But then when an educator engages their heart into the process, and students feel or perceive they are cared about, learning becomes even more meaningful to them. For an educator, this transforms teaching from a mandatory function into a purpose-driven role.