When I talked with a group of faculty at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference October 11, I asked this question in a poll, When Do You Create your Online Course? Only some of the people responded, but I was not surprised by the results. 36% of the responses were “while I am teaching the course” because in their reality, they were asked to teach, online or in-person, only weeks before the course began.
My presentation was about “What’s Different about Teaching Online.” After polling the audience, I talked about the 12 week course we had developed over three years for faculty to help them prepare to teach online. The same reality struck course participation. Many dedicated faculty could not continue to commit that much time to learning to teach online when they were already teaching, often with an overload.
At the same time the way we communicate personally and professionally began to change. Our communication technologies made it possible to connect with each other seamlessly and often.
What information is essential for faculty learning to teach in this new open networked world? What type of Just-in-time information about teaching can make a difference in the way they establish communication with and among their students?
In the online classroom, it is the relationships and interactions among people through which knowledge is primarily generated.
Palloff, R.M. & Pratt, K.(2007).Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies for the Virtual Classroom, (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley, p. 15)
Ultimately e-learning is not about technology, it is about flexibility, connections, and community…sound pedagogical ideas must be merged with the astounding capabilities of the new and emerging communication technologies.
Garrison, D.R. (2011). E-Learning in the Twenty-First Century (2nd ed.) New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. (pp. 73-74).
I wish I already had the answers to the best way to support faculty learning to teach with connected learning principles using the networked world. It will be an intriguing exploration of collaborations in design.