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How did you learn to teach online? Self-taught? On the job? You and too many others. Only a fraction of teacher education programs report offering any formal training on the subject of online instruction. The growth in online course offerings makes it clear such training is needed, so then the question becomes how. If you were to design a course to prepare teachers to teach in an online or blended environment, what would it look like? What topics would be addressed?
In this presentation, we will share our approach as we discuss the design and development of a course we built to prepare pre-service teachers to teach online. The design of the course is based on the ideas of the constructivist instructional model known as Rich Environments for Active Learning (REAL). As supported by the REAL model, the online course incorporates a variety of hands-on, authentic, and collaborative activities.
The course consists of three major projects with an emphasis on seven broad topics or issues related to online learning. These seven topics are drawn from research in the field and supported by educational technology standards. Topics include ideas such as access and equity online, online instructional design principles, and assessment online.
Our course is, as most, a work in progress and though we are eager to share what has been developed to this point, we are just as interested in stimulating a dialogue related to best practices and models for preparing teachers for the online environment.