5 Ways to Showcase Your Teaching Online

Talking about your teaching online is something you may do regularly or have never done before. Today we’re discussing different ways you can highlight your teaching on the web.

Welcome to The Social Academic blog. I’m Jennifer van Alstyne and each month I share tips on managing your online presence. And, I interview grad students, faculty, and researchers in different fields about their work and social media lives.

How to highlight your work as a professor or teacher online

A smiling woman holds a dry erase marker standing by a whiteboard with figures on it. The woman has red hair and a black sleeveless top on. She is wearing a watch and a bracelet.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments on social media
  • Join conversations on Twitter
  • Update your LinkedIn profile for teaching
  • Write a blog post for your department
  • Create a teaching page for your personal website

Have you done any of these before? I hear from people that celebrating their accomplishments on social media is a bit of a struggle. They tell me it feels like bragging, or self-promotion.

Know that the things I suggest are about celebrating the hard work you do. Being clear about what that work is, and why it’s important to you is part of that. But social media isn’t the only way. That’s why I’ve chosen a variety of options.

Okay, let’s dive in on these 5 ways to showcase your teaching online.

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1. Celebrate your accomplishments on social media


When you have good news, it doesn’t always feel natural to share it. But you know that this is information people tend to share on social media because you’ve likely encountered it from family and friends.

Here are a few examples of common celebration posts faculty and researchers tend to share:

  • win a teaching award
  • get a teaching job/appointment
  • have a teaching-related publication
  • are presenting about your teaching
  • are promoted

These are big achievements that should be celebrated.

While taking to social media with good news isn’t for everybody, let’s talk about how sharing in that space can be a great idea.

Before that, I want you to know that those big accomplishments aren’t the only things you can celebrate online. If getting through a tough grading session is something you’re celebrating, that’s something your friends, family, and community can cheer too.

Whatever your celebration, sharing it on social media can engage the people who care about you in the conversation. A celebratory post let’s people know what you’re up to. And invites them to cheer you on.

Celebrations on social media are well-liked, and we can tell this because it’s a type of social media post that has high engagement. That means that of the people who view it, a higher portion of them will like or comment on it than other posts.

So leave off the “shameless self-promotion.” Seriously, I’d love if you never said it again.

Instead, be clear with what you’re celebrating, and why it was important to you.

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2. Join conversations on Twitter

A hand holds a phone. On the phone is the Twitter app login screen.

Twitter is a social media platform that’s a great place to connect with other academics. A couple new students in my free course on managing your online presence said to me that Twitter felt a bit like “screaming into the void.” Because of that I want to share this next tip for showcasing your teaching online, and that’s to join conversations on Twitter.

Talking about your teaching online is great, but how do you know anyone’s listening? A great place to start is joining other people’s conversations, especially on social media platforms like Twitter. Every day, people talk about teaching. Some of them are likely feeling like they’re “screaming into the void” themselves. Afterall, the half-life of a tweet is only 20 minutes. The chances of the right person seeing the right tweet is only so high.

However, something not everyone knows is that Twitter has a powerful search function. You may know you can search for hashtags. It helps to know the hashtags most relevant to your field. A good place to ask if you’re uncertain is by tweeting to #AcademicTwitter, #ScienceTwitter, or #EduTwitter. Because the half-life of a tweet is short, so you may have to try this kind of public question more than once.

Twitter’s powerful search function also allows you to find non-hashtagged content as well. You can type in a keyword and pull up tweets and conversations about the topic you’re interested in. Chances are you’ll find tweets and threads by people with shared interests. You could even try pairing a keyword with “teaching” to bring up only teaching-related conversations.

3. Update your LinkedIn profile for teaching

Hands holding a tablet with Jennifer van Alstyne's LinkedIn profile pulled up

When I say LinkedIn is a great place for academics, some people laugh. They think I’m joking, but it’s a professional network you should be on. Updating your LinkedIn profile is more long-lasting than a social media post. And if your profile is public, it’s well-indexed by Google.

In your Work Experience section, be sure to add where you teach and for how long. Add a brief description of your teaching. Most people are used to a traditional bullet-point style list for LinkedIn (kind of like a resume).

Unless you’re actively searching for a job, you want to engage your LinkedIn profile visitors in the story of what you do. Questions like where and when are answered by your affiliation and dates worked. But you also what to answer questions like who, what, and why?

  • Who do you teach?
  • What do you teach?
  • Why is it important/effective?

While you’re at it, go ahead and update the rest of your LinkedIn profile.

Other places to highlight your teaching include your Summary section and in Awards. Be sure to add any teaching-related Publications as well.

Start updating your LinkedIn profile today with my masterclass just for academics like you.

4. Write a blog post for your department

A black woman sits on the floor in front of a couch with her laptop resting on her knee while typing. The woman is wearing glasses, a white long sleeved shirt, and cropped jeans. The carpet in the living room is shaggy, orange, and looks comfy to sit on.

Have you considered writing a blog post or article about your teaching before?

Writing about your teaching is a great way to share things like successful assignments and projects online. It can also generate interest in your future courses from current and prospective students.

While you may have a personal website you could share this on, I encourage you to reach out to your department’s website person to see if they are interested in a blog post.

This is a great way to help out your academic department, and share it with potential readers who are most likely to take interest.

The good news is that if you do have a personal faculty website or want to share this article on your LinkedIn profile (as ‘Media’ with your Work Experience section), you can. All you need is the link, and you can share your published blog post with any interested reader.

In fact, publishing a blog post on your department’s website is a type of good news you can share as a celebratory social media post.

5. Create a teaching page for your personal faculty website

Woman and man looking at desktop computer screen with Andrew Paulsen's personal website on the browswer

If you have a personal website, you likely have a bio. But not everybody has a web page dedicated to their teaching.

Having a teaching page is a great way to introduce where and what you teach. But I love it especially because you can add as many resources as you want.

For instance, you can share

  • a list of your current and past courses
  • syllabi
  • your teaching statement
  • sample assignments
  • even sample student work (with permission, and under password protection)

Earlier this year I interviewed Ed.D. candidate and former K-12 math teacher Andrew Paulsen. I like that Andrew shares video of him teaching on his personal website. He has a disclaimer before each video that shares how permission was obtained and from who. This is a good best practice if video is something you’re considering.

Don’t have a personal website? I help faculty with websites! Don’t hesitate to reach out.

There are many ways to highlight your teaching online

These 5 ways to share your teaching online have great potential impact for you

  • Celebrate your accomplishments on social media
  • Join conversations on Twitter
  • Update your LinkedIn profile for teaching
  • Write a blog post for your department
  • Create a teaching page for your personal website

Thanks for joining me for “5 Ways to Showcase Your Teaching Online.” I’m Jennifer van Alstyne and I want to thank you for your support, for reading the blog and connecting with me on social media. I love hearing from readers like you.

Subscribe to The Social Academic blog.

Want to use social media in your lesson plans? Check out my YouTube live with Dr. Alexandra Mihai on teaching with social media.

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Jennifer van Alstyne View All →

Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and communications consultant. She founded The Academic Designer, LLC to help professors, researchers, and graduate students manage their online presence. Jennifer’s goal is to help people share their work with the world.

Check out her personal site at https://jennifervanalstyne
or learn more about the services she offers at https://theacademicdesigner.com

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