Online Learning Best Practices: A literature review by Catherine Scholl
There are many teaching methods and practices that comprise an effective online learning program.
Having completed a literature review of online learningdesign practices, I have found that nine of Grace Rubenstein’s top ten tips for online learning sum up the top best practices for online instruction. I added my own tip number 10.
Rubenstein’s Tip Number 1: Make the learning interactive. Making the learning interactive is essential to online learning. Nearly all of the sources I found encouraged, student to student interaction, and student to teacher interaction. Creighton Office of Online Education (2012) encourages interaction as their first standard for effective online teaching practices, by stating, “ Employ strategies to encourage contact between students and instructor, actively engage students in learning experiences.”
Tip Number 2: Let the students pace themselves. Giving students the power to work at their own pace is a tremendous benefitof online learning. Students have the ability to replay videos, watch PowerPoint's more than one, and so on. Students can work at 5 AM or 11:30 PM. If students are familiar with the content, the student can move ahead in his or her learning.
Tip Number 3: Respond quickly. This tip resonates Mason’s (2012) blog post tip: Be available. Students taking online courses want to know that they are not alone and an instructor is available when needed. Boettcher (2011) states best practice number one is to be present at the course site.
Tip Number 4: Communicate Informally. Rubenstein (2010) reminds us that writing can appear to be formal conversation, and it is important for the instructor to write with a conversational tone.
Tip Number 5: Make the most of the medium. Conductingclasses online gives the instructor the opportunity to use several types of media and technology for the learning content. The Center for Teaching and Learning (2013) notes that using various media allows for differential instruction of the learners. CSU’s (2002) Rubric for Online Instruction, includes an Instructional Design and Delivery category that includes a checklist of several different kinds of activities to enhance student learning and participation. These include annimation, PowerPoints, and games.
Tip Number 6: Encourage collaboration. Wilcoxon (2011) and Boettcher (2011) both state that creating a supportive social presence, where there is comfort and trust, is a key to learning online. VCU (2009) reminds us that studies have shown that learning is enhanced when the atmosphere is social and open to with social collaboration.
Tip Number 7: Conduct live meetings only when necessary. This follows the idea hat online learners want to have that flexibility in their schedule. Also, Rubenstein (2010) feels an online lecture is harder to concentrate on than a face-to-face lecture. Rukobo (2012) notes work in an online course is often asynchronous, so students can work at their own pace and schedule.
Tip Number 8: Stay Connected. Rubenstein (2010) suggest joining an online community like Edutopia (2013) or Classroom 2.0. The Edutopiawebsite contains a wealth of information related to education and research. Other online professional communities include Classroom 2.0. Staying connected with a learning network, helps the instructor stay current with research in the educational field.
Tip Number 9: Manage your time well. Rubenstein (2010) suggest scheduling your time online so you are not at class online too much or too little. Well said!
Tip Number 10 and this is my added tip: Use a well-structured course management system such as Moodle. In the article Create a Course Online: 5 Tips (2013), Tip Number 2 states it is important to structure content in a visibly understandable way. The interface of Moodle, with it’s modules and sections, lets the instructor and student “see” the course in a clear picture. Rukobo (2013) recommends a learning management system like Moodle. Moodle allows for chunking of learning content which makes it easier to understand content by the learner.
Finally a picture of some of the best practices used in Online Learning.
The following are the References I used to complete this PowerPoint. There are more articles written about online learning. I tried to choose a sample of what has been written and show the practices that seem to be used most often, and practices that are viewed as highly effective in online learning.
Best practices for teaching online
Online LearningBest PracticesA Literature ReviewBy Catherine Scholl
Grace RubensteinTen Takeaway Tips for OnlineLearning
My Tip Number 10Use a well structured coursemanagement system such asMoodle.
References• Boettcher, J. V. (2011, May). Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online: Quick Guide for NewOnline Faculty. Retrieved June 16, 2013, from Designing for Learning website:http://www.designingforlearning.info/services/writing/ecoach/tenbest.html• Classroom 2.0. (2013). Retrieved June 17, 2013, from Classroom 2.0 website:http://www.classroom20.com/• Create An Online Course: 5 Tips. (2013). Retrieved June 16, 2013, from Center for Teachingand Learning: The University of Texas at Austin website:http://ctl.utexas.edu/teaching/technology/online_courses_tips• Creighton Office of Online Learning. (2012, February 2). Creighton University Online TeachingBest Practice Standards [White paper]. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from Creighton Universitywebsite: http://www.creighton.edu/fileadmin/user/online-learning/docs/OnlineTeachingStandards_2_2_12.pdf• CSU, Chico. (2002). Rubric for Online Instruction [White paper]. Retrieved June 17, 2013, fromCalifornia State University Chico website:http://www.csuchico.edu/tlp/resources/rubric/instructionalDesignTips.pdf• Edutopia Staff. (2013). Resources and Downloads for Online Learning. Retrieved June17, 2013, from Edutopia website: http://www.edutopia.org/stw-online-learning-downloads
References Continued• Ensuring Student Success through Best Practices in Instructional Design[Blog post]. (2012, September 20). Retrieved from Blackboard Blogswebsite: http://blog.blackboard.com/professional-education/ensuring-student-success-through-best-practices-in-instructional-design/• Mason, V. (2012, December 5). 5 Tips for Teaching Online Classes [Blogpost]. Retrieved from SimpleK12 website:http://blog.simplek12.com/education/5-tips-for-teaching-online-classes/• Plough, C. (2010, September 20). 4 Tips for Teaching a Course Online [Blogpost]. Retrieved from The Next Step website:http://thenextstep.edublogs.org/2010/09/20/4-tips-for-teaching-a-course-online/• Rubenstein, G. (2010). Ten Takeaway Tips for Online Learning [Whitepaper]. Retrieved June 16, 2013, from Edutopia website:http://www.edutopia.org/stw-online-learning-ten-key-lessons• Rubenstein, G. (2013). Teacher Development: Starter Kit for TeachingOnline [White paper]. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from Edutopia website:http://www.edutopia.org/stw-online-learning-teacher-development
Works Cited Continued• Rukobo, E. Z., Penfold, A., & Adler, C. R. (2013, January 17). A FacilitatorsGuide for the Online Course: what Education Should Know About VirtualEducation. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from Center on Instruction website:http://www.centeroninstruction.org/files/Facilitator%27s%20Guide%20for%20Online%20Course%20What%20Ed%20Leaders%20Should%20Know%20about%20Virtual%20Ed.pdf• VCU Center for Teaching Excellence. (2009, September 22). 7 Principles ofGood Practice in Online Teaching. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from VCUCenter for Teaching Excellence website:http://www.vcu.edu/cte/resources/OTLRG/03_05_7Principles.html• What is Moodle? (2013). Retrieved June 17, 2013, from Moodle website:https://moodle.org/• Wilcoxon, K. (2011, October 3). Building an Online Community. RetrievedJune 17, 2013, from Learning Solutions Magazine website:http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/761/