The Elephant in the Online Classroom
Online learning, online education - we read about it daily now that MOOCs are the rage. But are MOOCs and online education synonymous? Do instructors who are recorded and present their course online in a MOOC do the same thing as instructors who teach for-credit online courses within Universities? How do instructors of any type learn to teach online? With all of the talk about new ways of new delivery methods and both the threats and benefits, nobody talks about the elephant in the room. The majority of instructors don't know how to teach online. They have been the "sage on the stage" for many years - switching to an online, interactive format where instructor presence is one of the primary ways to assure participation and learner success means swimming in unchartered waters. Some have been very successful and are champions, while others shy away. How have the successful ones learned? We will incorporate real opinions by enthusiastic instructor participants.
- Are there common characteristics of all instructors who teach online successfully? Is it possible to instill those attributes in those who are more reluctant?
- How do we overcome fear of evolutionary technology in an educational environment? Fundamental adult learning theory, in which adults learn what they need to because they need to, is a key. Learning to teach online is relevant, and they need to know how. But in the unique role of educator and student, many are not used to showing weakness. Technology is a very real hurdle that educators need to overcome, sometimes using students to help. "The smartest person in the room is the room" is applied.
- What do we see as differences among MOOCs (Coursera vs. Siemens/Downes Connectivist MOOCs) and then, to take it a step further, what differentiates MOOCs of any type from online classes held for credit within traditional universities?
- Donna Murdoch, Founder, CourseConstructors
Donna Murdoch, Founder, CourseConstructors
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