- You are invited on a journey
into learning about online learning.
Does online learning differ from classroom learning? If you have
followed these modules as though they were a course you have now experienced
what is called an open entry/open exit online course. In other
words, you are experiencing a course that can be taken at any time,
with or with out a facilitator or interaction with other students. Ideally
online courses are facilitated and extensive interaction between participants
takes place, but we are getting ahead of ourselves in this discussion.
As we discussed in previous lessons
most of us think we know a great deal about teaching and learning
just because we have been students. If you have read several of the
modules in this course and taught in the traditional classroom you have
learned a good deal more about the realities of the educational process.
Does your experience as a classroom teacher translate directly into
the online environment? Yes and no.
Effectively teaching and learning can
take place almost by accident in a classroom where a well attuned instructor
seems to have an instinctual understanding of their students needs.
But online, in the absence of the visual and auditory cues and with
the written communication dominate in online instruction the process
must be far more intentional. Teaching online is still teaching, but
it is not entirely the same.
could debate for the next hour the effectiveness of online education.
I believe online education can be very effective, but not necessarily
for all students or for all educational needs. It cannot and should
not replace all face-to-face education. But, for many students and many
subjects, a well designed online course can be very effective.
knowledge and skills do you need to design an effective online course?
- An understanding of how
people learn (Modules 9 and 10 introduce this topic)
- An ability to translate
the understanding of how people learn into an online course design
- An ability to write clearly
- Basic technical skills
- Basic web design skills
(online teachers quickly discover they will not be able to rely in total
on technical staff)
- A knowledge of a course
management system if one is to be used (WebCT, Blackboard, etc.)
the typical personality traits of those who thrive in the online environment?
- They love
- They enjoy
selecting imagery to enhance their site and make communication more
- They have the ability to
imagine the person at the other end of an e-mail conversation
- They are
tolerant of the glitches that often arise during the use of current
- They are
interested in learning more about how they might use technology to enhance
teaching and learning
How does one build the knowledge
and skills to be an effective online instructor?
Learn your college policies on offering online courses. College
policies can differ significantly. Be sure to check out the resources
and training available at your college.
Most faculty prefer to expand their technical skills in
face-to-face workshops. If your college does not offer face-to-face
workshops, you may find those offered by @one at http://one.evc.edu
to fulfill your need.
If your college does not offer
online courses but you would like to experience online teaching you
might inquire about adjunct (part-time) opportunities elsewhere. If
you are an online adjunct you may not need to travel to the college
where the course originates more than once or twice per semester. To
find out who is offering courses check with The
California Virtual Campus or explore opportunities in other states.
Review the literature of online courses
(at least glance at it) so that you are familiar with the issues that
may arise on your campus, and have a sense of where online courses fit
into educational history and, most importantly, think about the lessons
you find in the literature that you wish to apply to your course.
To help you examine the literature, this module
is linked to sites outside of 4faculty. Each discusses good practices
or best practices in online education. As you will quickly discover,
many thoughtful people are considering how to best construct online
courses. If you have been following the development of online
courses for some time, recall that most of the discussion in the late
twentieth century revolved around the "no significant difference"
phenomenon, or around a critique of the value of online courses.
While many continue to argue that hybrid courses will serve students
more effectively than fully online courses, or perhaps even fully face-to-face
courses, most of the current discussion of online courses focuses on
Quality assurance is of great importance,
particularly since it is also leading to a debate about quality assurance
in face-to-face courses. You will also note that the discussion
about quality assurance is inexorably linked to our understanding of
how students learn. For a summary of the literature on quality
assurance please see the following matrix on quality assurance created
by the Kristina Kauffman and Andy Howard.
Student Success through Quality Assurance (.pdf)
& Their Role in Higher Education
Senate for the California Community Colleges
The most important faculty organization in
California community colleges is the Academic Senate. Through
AB 1725, Academic Senates are the only organization given legal
standing in the shared governance process.
Each of the 108 community colleges have an
Academic Senate to represent faculty in academic and professional
The Academic Senate of California Community
Colleges (ASCCC) is the statewide organization representing local
Senates. Each college is given one voting representative at the
two annual conferences where position papers and resolutions are
discussed. The ASCCC is also one of the organizations involved
in the "consultation" process that provides input to
the Board of Governors.
for Good Practice: Technology Mediated Instruction
The Guidelines are based on The
Seven Principles for Good Instruction
described by Chickering and Gamson (1987). They include:
- Encourages student-faculty contact.
- Encourages cooperation among students.
- Encourages active learning.
- Gives prompt feedback.
- Emphasizes time on task.
- Communicates high expectations.
- Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
for Good Practice: Effective Instructor-Student Contact
in Distance Learning
View Sue Roig's PowerPoint
for Guidelines for Good Practice: Effective Instructor-Student
Contact in Distance Learning based upon the Seven Principles
The Institute of Higher Education Policy
The Institute for Higher Education Policy
is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to
foster access and quality in postsecondary education. The Institute’s
activities are designed to promote innovative solutions to the
important and complex issues facing higher education. These activities
include research and policy analysis, policy formulation, program
evaluation, strategic planning and implementation, seminars, and
Founded in 1993, the Institute informs the
policymaking process in collaboration with U.S. state, federal,
and institutional level partners, and internationally in countries
such as South Africa, Mozambique, and Russia. The Institute draws
on the combined expertise of its senior associates and researchers,
whose ranks include some of the leading policy analysts in higher
Source: IHEP website
on the Line: Benchmarks for Success in Internet-Based Distance
Quality on the
Line includes a study of Benchmarks for Success. Key course
and learner benchmarks are:
Course Development Benchmarks
Guidelines regarding minimum
standards are used for course development, design, and delivery,
while learning outcomes—not the availability of existing
technology—determine the technology being used to deliver
are reviewed periodically to ensure they meet program standards.
Courses are designed to
require students to engage themselves in analysis, synthesis,
and evaluation as part of their course and program requirements.
Student interaction with
faculty and other students is
an essential characteristic and is facilitated through a
variety of ways, including voice-mail and/or e-mail.
Feedback to student assignments
and questions is constructive and provided in a timely manner.
Students are instructed
in the proper methods of effective research, including assessment
of the validity of resources.
Course Structure Benchmarks
Before starting an online
program, students are advised about the program to determine
(1) if they possess the self-motivation and commitment to
learn at a distance and (2) if they have access to the minimal
technology required by the course design.
Students are provided with
supplemental course information that outlines course objectives,
concepts, and ideas, and learning outcomes for each course
are summarized in a clearly written, straightforward statement.
Students have access to
sufficient library resources that may include a "virtual
library" accessible through the World Wide Web.
Faculty and students agree
upon expectations regarding times for student assignment
completion and faculty response.
is the leading provider of e-learning solutions
to the global higher education market. They created the course
management system used in this training course. Read about the
Exemplary Course Project Scoring Rubric
Education: Guidelines for Good Practice from
the American Federation of Teachers, published in the US Distance
Assurance for Whom?: Providers and Consumers in Today's
Distributed Learning Environment by the Carol Twigg of
the Pew Learning and Technology Program
Guiding Principles for Distance Learning from the American
Distance Education Consortium
Study the components of good online design and teaching and think about
what a well designed class looks like to a student. A
good online course contains many features. Key among them are:
for students to construct and experience their own knowledge
for students to become increasingly responsible for their own
for demonstrating learning outcomes
student support services
and captivating instruction design
pathway to guide student learning
Forms of Interactivity with Material, Other Students and the Instructor
communication with peers and the instructor
- Varied interaction
with the content.
Components of Good Online Course Design
Learn tips and tricks to put together your online course as quickly
and easily as possible.
- Shape your vision
- Focus on approaches
that serve all types of learners
- Think of the course
from the student's perspective
- Use the discussion board
to promote effective communication and teach critical thinking and
- Develop a clear pathway
- Build in introduction
and objectives; content; opportunities for engagement; reminders
to reflect; pre and post assessment
- Design a simple
path and stick to it
- Ensure active engagement
- Provide support structures
- "To thine own self
Deeper for examples
Have FUN learning something new and extending educational opportunities
to even more students!