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One New Thing
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
One New Thing: Online Teaching and Learning.

I went to my first non-library-centric conference today: being about online teaching and learning, which is kinda the area I am working in now. What I mostly got out of today was a sense that there are a lot of people out there who are really trying to make online delivery work at its potential, which is of course fantastic. However there were multiple presenters who discussed their attempts at trying and failing to deliver courses in online modes before they were able to make it successful. It seems that pedagogy is still trying to catch up with the technology
I’ll list some of the major topics that came up:

  • an online course is in a broader context than that of just information delivery (i.e. they are more than just a place to keep the Powerpoint slides)

  • students expect interactivity from courses that are delivered online

  • students won’t use online material unless it is clearly tied into course objectives, or even better, forms part of their assessment

  • student access to the technology is still a concern

  • technological skills of teaching staff can be a barrier to the uptake of online teaching (and one would imagine this also can affect the quality of an online course)

  • developing successful online courses requires extra preparation and a lot of time

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