Week Six: What assistive or adaptive tools could be helpful as I create my online courses?

As a distance running coach, I clearly and innately understand the requirement for variety in our workouts, in the terrain and also in the environment and scenery.  Running the same route day in and day out certainly becomes comfortable, but for competitive distance runners, it also becomes stagnant, and will almost always suspend growth, both physically and mentally.  I am left wondering if online education reflects some of these same tendencies.  Although, students’ desire for predictability must at some point supersede  the need for variety since in education, we all struggle between the world of grades and the need to push into the discomfort of real learning.

Moore (2012) states that effective  use of a technology depends upon having adequate experience with it in distance-learning applications. Even familiar technologies, such as the Web, print, or television, require special adaptations in distance-learning.”  Therefore, covering familiar technological terrain in a predictable fashion and on a regular basis certainly makes perfect sense.  At some point though, variety needs to be introduced and implemented.

Social Presence like variety is a necessary  component of online teaching and learning.  the Instructor / Student connection is vital if the developers of the online course hope for a valid evaluation of the course.  Building the course is just one component.  Implementation of that course through the Emotional /Social Presence often becomes the most important aspect of that course. “Yet after reviewing the research there is evidence from a variety of sources that suggests emotions play a powerful role in learners’ engagement and achievement, and that the role of emotions in online learning deserves special consideration” (Artino, 2012; Rienties & Rivers, 2014).

Artino, Anthony R. (2012). “Emotions in online learning environments: Introduction to the special issue.” The Internet and Higher Education 15(3): (pp. 137-140).

Moore, M. G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781133715450/

Morrison, D. (2016, August 16). A New Twist to Teaching Online: Considering Learners’ Emotions [Web log post]. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/about/


4 thoughts on “Week Six: What assistive or adaptive tools could be helpful as I create my online courses?

  1. Dan, I like how you say that distance runners need new terrain to stay motivated and reach new goals. I agree with you that when we integrate technology into online learning, we need to make it new enough to pique interest and learn new skills, but not enough to overwhelm. I think there’s a fine balance. Another issue I think is important is deciding if the technology actually enhances the content or if it is just technology we want to use. The emotional/social presence is important in all classrooms, but especially in online learning where we don’t physically connect with each other. When I feel welcomed and valued as a learner I’m much more likely to engage in the content and complete the course. Thanks for your post. Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan,
    Great analogy between running and online education. I think with anything in life, we try to learn the new skill and then after we have felt like we have mastered it – it is very easy for us to be too comfortable. I would think this would be the same for teachers. You teach the same grade, topics, and use the same equipment – you can become very comfortable. It is not a bad thing, but we humans need to be challenged. This is why I appreciate Lee’s comments on my work. There is always room for improvement.
    BTW, I would love to get tips from you about how to improve on my long distance. I think I am thinking about the technique too much. I feel too robotic. Any books or sites would be appreciated 

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Josie, I would be delighted to give you some thoughts on running improvement. I have some questions first: 1. how long have you been running? 2.How often do you run during a normal week? 3. How long (minutes) are your runs during a regular week? 4. What do you think is your weakness with running? 5. What do you want to change and why? If you want to take the time to answer thes questions, we can start there. If not, no worries! I know how busy life can be. 🙂


  4. Hi Dan,
    I like your statement: “We all struggle between the world of grades and the need to push into the discomfort of real learning.” Maybe free education can resolve this question and online education can accelerate the procession. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

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