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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Inside Digital Learning: 7 Guidelines for Online Course Development | Inside Digital Learning

"Four authors of books about online course development offer guidelines for engaging learners in distance education courses." continues Inside Digital Learning.

"Inside Digital Learning asked four authors of books about online education for their expert advice on how instructors and their institutions can excel in virtual course instruction. The authors agreed that the online classroom is different enough from the traditional one that faculty members and adjuncts need to create courses for digital delivery that are substantially different from those they teach on campus. And they said teaching online requires an even keener focus on student engagement than the face-to-face model does.

“Years ago, we used to say the danger of online courses was they were just going to become electronic correspondence courses,” said Rita-Marie Conrad, who along with Judith V. Boettcher, wrote The Online Teaching Survival Guide. “That’s still a danger. As each new wave of instructors comes into this environment, there’s still that misunderstanding that this is a new environment.”

However, institutions and professors should be encouraging residential students to take classes online. “[Colleges] don’t provide an online experience to every undergraduate student, but we’re doing them a disservice,” said Elliot King, co-author of Best Practices in Online Program Development and the upcoming Best Practices in Planning Strategically for Online Education.

More and more, employers are offering professional development courses online, he noted. “Learning online is different from face-to-face, and [graduates] won’t have any experience. If the college wants students to be lifelong learners, give them the opportunity to” take virtual courses."
In addition to Conrad, Boettcher and Elliott, Inside Digital Learning spoke with Marjorie Vai, author of Essentials of Online Course Design and editor of Routledge’s Essentials of Online Learning series. 

Here are the authors’ top tips for creating engaging and successful online education:

Make It a Group Effort
Even an instructor who has taught the same course dozens of times in an on-campus classroom will spend many extra hours figuring out how to teach it online, said Conrad, a lecturer at University of California, Berkeley. So colleges and universities should offer them some sort of compensation, like a lighter teaching load the first semester or extra pay.
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Source: Inside Digital Learning