Week Eight: Essential Question: What would you require of instructors who taught a course you designed? Why?

The instructor’s role in teaching an online class is not substantially different from that of teaching a traditional face-to-face course.  There is one variable though that can affect the success or failure of the online experience and that is whether or not the instructor has the technical capabilities to troubleshoot technology barriers as they arise, and regardless of the bombproof nature of the course or the platform, technical difficulties will arise and they will come up in the middle of the instruction.  When this occurs it is highly difficult to maintain the flow of the course. “As an online instructor you will need to master the online learning platform in which your course operates. You will be expected to take full advantage of its capabilities. An experienced online instructor will recognize which tools should be used to enhance and advance the students’ learning experience. Moreover, you should share navigational tips and tricks with students to ensure they are prepared to learn in an online classroom. Opportunities for synchronous communication, including live chat or live video sessions, will only help you gain credibility and respect in your students eyes” (Ely, 2011).

How many times have we all seen technology fail at exactly the moment it is most needed?  Of course that is a rhetorical questions, but essentially, the instructor needs to be fluent enough  with the platform to either problem-solve, or have the insight and the preparation to revert to plan B, or C.  Without a backup, the technology will at some point fail, and the instructor does not need to be a tech genius, but he does need to have control of the delivery and be prepared to use another mode if it is required.

Dutton, J. (2016). Best Practices and Expectations for Online Teaching. Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Retrieved from http://facdev.e-education.psu.edu/teach/bestpractices

Ely, S. (2011, October). Five Expectations Students Should Have of an Online Instructor. E-Learn Magazine. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2048939

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

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2 thoughts on “Week Eight: Essential Question: What would you require of instructors who taught a course you designed? Why?

  1. Dan,
    I agree with you wholeheartedly about needing to have a back-up plan for when technology fails, even a plan C or D! For me, practicing with the technology ahead of time is the key for being comfortable enough with it to offer students assistance when they need it. I also think that in today’s time, our students often can figure out technology faster than we can, and reminding myself of their skills is something I try to do. I find that even in elementary school they are pleased to be the “experts.” I’ve found that in these EDET classes, I’ve been introduced to new technology like Twitter, blogging, and Blackboard, and I’m excited about the new opportunities I’ve experienced. Your post makes great sense! Amy

    Like

  2. Hi Dan,

    Totally agree with you that: instructors need to have some knowledge of technology. Take myself as an example. One of my online professors at UAA helped me to find and apply for this course at UAS, showing me every step of how to do it. I really appreciated his patience and time, and it helped me a lot.

    Bridget

    Like

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