Some students are reluctant to enroll in online courses, afraid they will miss some of the social aspects of the face-to-face classroom. For these students, it makes sense to incorporate online synchronous sessions to provide some of the benefits of the face-to-face class while maintaining most of the flexibility of an asynchronous online course.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
Meaningful online discussions that promote learning and build community usually do not happen spontaneously. They require planning, good use of questioning techniques, and incentives for student participation.
In order to be part of an effective learning community, online learners need to feel the presence of the instructor and fellow learners. Jane Dwyer, a senior lecturer at Rivier College, uses the following techniques to create this sense of social presence in her online psychology courses:
One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the adoption of student-centered instruction. Here are a few tips for taking this approach to teaching in your online courses:
A survey of senior campus officials responsible for managing online and distance education programs revealed some interesting findings, including almost half of the participants not knowing whether their program is profitable.
One instructor’s study of student participation in online discussions in two of his asynchronous online courses over a five-year period has yielded some interesting results that have influenced how he conducts his courses.
How do you motivate online learners?
It’s an age-old question that continues to stump online instructors as well as the managers of distance education programs trying to solve the attrition problem that continues to drag down this otherwise thriving segment of higher education.
In my classroom-based courses I have always valued discussion as a powerful learning tool that provides students with opportunities to explain their reasoning and understanding, learn different perspectives and points of view, and re-think and possibly revise their own conceptions based on careful reflection of potentially disparate viewpoints. As I prepared to teach my first online course five years ago, it was only natural that discussion would be a part of it.