Michael Feldstein, e-learning consultant, in one of his blog posts stated that:
Teaching online is completely different. There is no stage. You have no captive audience. You have no ability to lean on your physical presence and stagecraft as a teacher. What you do have is the wide world that the student is immersed in, and the student’s imagination and initiative. So that’s what you use.
Undoubtedly, the "sage on the stage" will morph into the "guide on the side" in an online environment. Online tools, and especially the Internet, offer endless possibilities for instructors to stimulate learners and engage them in active learning processes. Online teaching is underpinned by a different pedagogical paradigm, where learning is learner-centred and learners are engaged in active learning experiences that guide them through critical thinking and the construction of meaning as they interact with the world around them and their peers. Instructors become the guides on the side as they monitor the learning experience and intervene as guidance is necessary. However, fostering learning online is no easy task. Instructors need to tap into the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of their learners to keep them engaged.
The following resources share best practices in online teaching and offer a number of strategies and tips to teach effectively in online and blended environments.
Web Resources: Optional Readings
- Ten best practices for teaching online
- Ten lessons learned about online teaching
- Guidelines for online teaching success
- Seven principles for good practice in the online classroom
- Ten principles of effective online teaching: To access this report you will have to create an account in Faculty Focus. It's a vibrant community of educators that explores issues of teaching and learning, online and in the classroom, so you may want to consider joining.
- Seven principles of effective teaching: evaluating online courses
Think about your own experiences being an online learner and take some time now to participate in the Sharing Online Learning Experiences discussion, where you will share your thoughts on what worked and didn't work for you.