What Makes Online Courses Unique?
Does online education vary from traditional education? To a large extent, that is true. Teachers increasingly take on the role of “guide on the side” rather than “sage on the stage” (Morgan, 2004). There is a one-on-one relationship between teacher and pupils in a classroom setting. Teachers employ a wide range of strategies to keep pupils engaged and can easily switch tactics if it becomes clear that some students are struggling to follow along.
Students in online classes often assume their teachers are available whenever they are, but in reality, teachers only log in to their virtual classrooms a small fraction of the time. Among the consequences of this is a possible increase in cases of student depression and isolation. When a teacher is not in the same room as their students, it is up to them to figure out how to stay in touch. This can be a scheduled time when the teacher is available by phone during office hours, or it can be a virtual office hour held via WebCT’s Chat room.
Incorporate a Wide Range of Presentation Styles
In addition, it is essential to supply data in a number of different forms. Content can be presented in a variety of formats, including but not limited to documents (typed lectures), images, PowerPoint presentations, Flash movies, outlines, and publisher course materials. It is important to remember, however, that in the digital realm, lecture notes need to be condensed. Aside than that, it is just another long reading assignment, and it is up to the students whether or not they actually use it as a review.
Habits of Students Who Take Courses Online
Students in an online course must rely on themselves to a much greater extent than they would in a traditional classroom. The student is expected to participate actively in the learning process while the teacher serves as a guide. To put it another way, the pupil will not learn unless you do. Students who like to wing it in class should not enrol in online courses. Students who want to succeed in an online course require the following characteristics: commitment, planning, time management, self-discipline, and a willingness to read and go through content. Those who do not have these characteristics should not be in an online class.
The goal of good instructional design in an online course is to ensure that the material is presented in a way that keeps the student interested while simultaneously fostering their competence in the online medium. It could be convincingly argued (depending on the topic) that both instructivism and constructivism are useful in a face-to-face classroom setting. In contrast to constructivism, which actively involves the learner in the material, instructivism reduces the topic to a series of facts and figures in an online setting.
It is Morgan, S. (2004). Academic resource for faculty development. Ithaca College has a wealth of educational resources. Information retrieved from the Internet on February 21, 2006.