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Module 2: Challenges and Opportunities in Online Teaching


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Presentation included in the Office of e-Learning's "Introduction to Online Teaching" course at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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Module 2: Challenges and Opportunities in Online Teaching

  1. 1. OPPORTUNITIESAND CHALLENGES of Teaching and Learning Online
  2. 2. Presentation OutlineOnline Teaching: Opportunities for Instructors Opportunities for Students Opportunities for All Challenges for Instructors Challenges for Students Challenges for All Combating Challenges
  3. 3. Opportunities Some rights reserved by {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester}
  4. 4. “Effective online learning environments engage students toward higher levels of thinking, promote active student involvement, accommodate individual differences and motivate learners.”Fish, W. W., & Wickersham, L. E. (2009). Best Practices for Online Instructors: Reminders. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 10(3), 279-284.
  5. 5. Opportunities for Instructors You do not have to teach somewhere at a certain time. Teaching online is flexible and convenient. You can hold “office hours” on weekends or at night. You can teach anywhere you have Internet access. Most online instructors feel they become better teachers in general because of a heightened awareness of what they do in the classroom. There are opportunities for different types of communication with your students.
  6. 6. Opportunities for Instructors You will likely have more participation from more students. You can experiment with new teaching techniques using technology that will work for your online courses and face to face courses. You can reach students who may not otherwise be able to take your courses. The diversity of students in online courses can be one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching online.
  7. 7. Opportunities for Students Control over learning  Don’t have to drive somewhere, find Increased interaction parking, wait outside with instructor and instructors’ offices, take other students tests on campus, etc. Convenient and flexible  The lack of travel saves especially for non- time and money. traditional students with jobs, families, etc.  Provides a safe environment for Forge bonds not students who might not possible in conventional ordinarily participate to classrooms because of join in geography
  8. 8. Opportunities for All Student-Centered Learning The variety of online tools draw on individual learning styles and help students become more versatile learners. Collaborative Learning Online group work allows students to become more active participants in the learning process. Contributing input requires that students comprehend what is being discussed, organize their thinking coherently, and express that thinking carefully.
  9. 9. Opportunities for All Access to Global Resources Students can easily access online databases and subject experts in the online classroom. Experiential Learning through Multimedia Presentations New technologies can be used to engage and motivate students. Technology can also be used to support students in their learning activities.
  10. 10. Challenges
  11. 11. “It seems that for the most part the quality of web-based learning depends on students themselves. One student’s benefit is another student’s drawback. Students and families must individually judge if their learning styles and needs are compatible with an online format. The ability to practice the discipline and time management necessary to make web- based education a success is perfect for some, just not for all.”Salsbury, M. (2011, October 19). Four challenges of online education. Retrieved from Ecology of Education website:
  12. 12. Challenges for Instructors Lack of training to teach online or the assumption that no training is needed The assumption that your face to face course will translate to an online course without design and development Lack of familiarity with the online environment and technology needed to teach online
  13. 13. Challenges for Instructors Capacity to use the medium to its advantage Being available to students on an extended basis electronically Providing timely responses and feedback to students In asynchronous activities, the lack of body language and facial expressions from students
  14. 14. Challenges for Students Greater responsibility for students Students must be well organized, self-motivated, and possess a high degree of time management skills in order to keep up with the pace of the course. For these reasons, online education is not appropriate for students who are dependent learners and have difficulty assuming responsibilities required by the online paradigm.
  15. 15. Challenges for All Both students and facilitators must possess a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to function successfully in an online environment. A student or faculty member who cannot function in the online system will drag the entire program down. Reliability of technology. As assumption by the student that “online is easier.”
  16. 16. Combating Challenges In order to effectively combat challenges, instructors must:  Effectively structure online courses  Create community in virtual classrooms  Facilitate and encourage online discussions This course will provide strategies to combat these challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities in online learning.
  17. 17. Bibliography Fish, W. W., & Wickersham, L. E. (2009). Best Practices for Online Instructors: Reminders. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 10(3), 279-284. Ko, S., & Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching online: A practical guide. Routledge. (n.d.). Teaching and learning online: A handbook for umass faculty. website: aching_and_Learning_Online_Handbook.pdf (n.d.). Weaknesses of online learning. website: s.asp Salsbury, M. (2011, October 19). Four challenges of online education. Retrieved from Ecology of Education website: