I have learned a lot regarding how to develop an effective online course. The most important for me has been the importance of having and adhering to quality guidelines because it can save myself and the company that I work for, according to Omer (2016), time, money, and reputation. Another important consideration is that what currently works for me as a face-to-face instructor will not necessarily translate successfully into an online environment, as mentioned by Boettcher & Conrad (2016). In addition, Bell & Federman (2016) found that when done right, an online course is just as, if not more, effective than a face to face course. This is encouraging to me because I previously had the notion that online courses couldn’t be equally or more effective, rather they were an alternative to when face-to-face classes weren’t a viable option.
Moreover, I have learned from this course how an instructor’s social, cognitive, and teaching presence varies, depending on the stage of the course, according to Boettcher & Conrad (2016). This course has also made me recognize and consider how to address different learning styles in a course. Furthermore, I was introduced to a new and emerging learning theory that Siemens (2005) named connectivism.
UNSWeLearning (2009) demonstrated how wonderfully and diversely useful a wiki page can be and how it’s a great tool for facilitating and encouraging collaboration and engagement between students. I’d heard of wiki pages prior to this course but have never used them in my workplaces.
The biggest change to my thinking around online courses is that it is equally if not more effective than face-to-face. It’s hard to me to believe because I grew up with mostly, if not only, face-to-face instruction and online instruction wasn’t considered formal education. Now, I see it as another way to deliver formal education as well as a viable option to deliver training in our globalized economies.
In my future work, I anticipate a combination of face-to-face and online training so I look forward to how both online and face-to-face content will complement and work together for a comprehensive training. I’ll certainly follow the best practices as mentioned by Boettcher & Conrad (2016) to ensure my learners stay engaged.
Bell, B. S., & Federman, J. E. (2013). E-Learning in Postsecondary Education. DigitalCommons@ILR, 23(1).
Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R.-M. (2016). The Online Teaching Survival Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Omer, A. H. (2016, November 30). 2 eLearning Production QA Standards. Retrieved from eLearning Industry: https://elearningindustry.com/2-elearning-production-quality-standards
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved from International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance: https://jotamac.typepad.com/jotamacs_weblog/files/Connectivism.pdf
[UNSWElearning]. (2009, February 15). Wikis in University Teaching and Learning – Richard Buckland UNSW [Video File], Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1-8OOrBi0o