I couldn’t agree more with the message of this blogpost! Effective online learning (and teaching) isn’t a “plug-and-play” proposition. It takes on-going, and impassioned involvement by both learning and instructor. When it happens, it’s quite magical. When it is lacking, it’s PAINFUL!!
A common misconception is that an online course basically runs itself after it has been launched. When this view is taken, course facilitators see themselves as only needed when learners encounter difficulties, e.g. some confusion or technical problem. They believe that online learners have all the resources they need and that learners can turn to their peers for clarification as needed.
However, an interactive online course is much more than a library of resources and peer interaction, although these elements are significant. Online courses do allow learners to work more independently, but learners still need the inspiration and guidance provided by an involved instructor:
- Learners enjoy hearing from the experienced instructor, the expert in the class.
- They expect their instructor to challenge their thinking and offer resources tailored to their interests.
- They appreciate reminders and ongoing advice on how to meet the challenges posed in the class.
Some instructors may feel…
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