Essential Guild to Online Teaching

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ETAP 623 Spring 2011

Essential Guide to Online Teaching : A mini-course for educators



With the rapid growth of internet- based technologies, online learning has appeared as an emerging alternative to traditional face to face classroom instruction. A recent survey conducted by Allen and Seaman (2010) found over 5.6 million students were taking at least one online course during fall 2009 (up from 4.6 million in 2008). Nearly 30% of higher education students now take one course online. The recent expansion of online learning leads to a change in education and instruction from teacher-centered to learner-centered patterns. (Garrison, 2003) Learner-centered patterns’ emphasis is on using and communicating knowledge effectively to address issues and problems in real-life contexts. The teacher’s role is to coach and facilitate and the teacher and students evaluate learning together. (Huba &Freed, 2000)

From the learner-centered perspective, the importance of the teacher’s active role is stressed in computer mediated communication (CMC) environments. Anderson, Archer and Garrison (2001) identified the significant importance of teachers supporting student higher order learning in a collaborative online community of inquiry. Tino (1997) said that what instructors do in the classroom is crucial to a learner’s sense of belonging and persistence in their future studies. Thus the instructor needs to understand the nature of online learning and have knowledge managing a course.

The topic of this course is guidance for teaching online activities in secondary education. An instructor’s active guidance is closely related to a student’s learning outcome, teaching tips help give teachers the opportunity to understand the process of learning and therefore it helps students gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. As a result of this course, I hope that learners will walk away with better knowledge of how to identify their students' needs and feel confident in being able to manage online course to increase student learning and enjoyment of learning.

Unit One: Understanding the Learning Community and Online Discourse

Target Objective

Learners will be able to understand the learning community and its relationship to discourse in the online environment.

Unit Two: Identifying Useful Communication Tips

Target Objective

Learners will be able to identify design principles, strategies, and best practices to consider in the development of communication in online discourse.

Unit Three: Implementing Class Management Plan

Target Objective

Learners will be able to design and choose to use appropriate strategies in response to online teaching guild results.

References and Resources

Allen, E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Class differences: Online education in the United States, 2009

Garrison, D. R. (2003). Cognitive presence for effective asynchronous online learning: The role of reflective inquiry, self-direction and metacognition. In J. Bourne & J. C. Moore (Eds.), Elements of quality online education: Practice and direction. Volume 4 in the Sloan C Series, Needham, MA: The Sloan Consortium.

Tinto, V. (1997). Colleges as Communities: Taking Research on Student Persistence seriously The Review of Higher Education - Volume 21, Number 2, Winter 1998, pp. 167-177

Huba, M. E. & Freed, J. (2000). Learner-centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.