Published on February 4, 2009
PREPARING TEACHERS TO TEACH ONLINE Gregory C. Sales, Ph.D. 2nd e-Learning Excellence in the Middle East Forum January 2009
Overview Define Online Teaching Present the Advantages Review the History of Teacher Technology Training Describe the Roles of Online Teachers Present a Model for Preparing Teachers to Teach Online: • Accepting Change • Being Comfortable • Core Competencies Development Summarize
Definition What is online teaching? Synchronous and/or asynchronous delivery of instruction using ICT, also know as: • e-Learning • Online learning • Distributed learning • Online distance education
Advantages Why teach online? The primary reasons is to reach a new level of efficiency: • Teaching more students over a wider area • Teaching topics not usually available to students • Reaching students when they are available • Providing consistent quality • Generating more revenue
Historically What help does the evolution of teacher ICT training offer? The evolution of training provides insights into what teachers need to know to be effective online educators. • 1970s and 1980s – competent computer users; keeping the equipment running and using productivity tools • 1980s and 1990s – users of instruction strategies • 1990s and early 2000s – using the Web as a learning environment; students become researchers and problem-solvers • Today – creating learning opportunities; facilitation and integrating Web 2.0/social media capabilities into learning
Teacher Roles What do teachers need to do to teach online? In addition to strong institutional support, teacher need to have competencies related to courses: 1. Development – working with the standards for course design, development, and delivery 2. Teaching/Learning – facilitating learning by creating a “close apparent distance” 3. Structure – communicating requirements to learners (both technology and performance) 4. Collaboration – working with support services to create, deliver, and maintain quality online courses
A Model for Preparing Teachers How can a model help? A model and be used in the development of training that: •Assesses and adjusts to teachers’ concerns •Builds teachers’ appreciation for online instruction •Develops teacher competencies in critical areas
Change How do teachers’ concerns relate to their readiness for online teaching? Teachers move through stages of concern. As concerns lessen, teachers are able to redirect their efforts toward more productive teaching. Typical Expressions of Concern about an Innovation Stages of Concern Expression of Concern 6. Refocusing I have some ideas about something that would work even better. 5. Collaboration How can I relate what I am doing to what others are doing? 4. Consequence How is my use affecting learners? How can I refine it to have more impact? 3. Management I seem to be spending all my time getting materials ready. 2. Personal How will using it affect me? 1. Informational I would like to know more about it. 0. Awareness I am not concerned about it. [from Loucks-Horsley (1996)]
Comfort What helps teachers become comfortable with teaching online? Wilson and his colleague have modified the STORC approach to adopting innovation in answer to this question. An Adaptation of the Extended STORC Approach Category Characteristic S Simplicity Is the innovation easy to understand, maintain, and use? Can it be easily explained to others? T Trialability Can the innovation be tried out on a limited basis? Can the decision to adopt be revised? O Observability Are the results of the innovation visible to others, so that they can see how it works and observe the consequences? R Relative Is the innovation seen as better than that which it replaces? Is the Advantage innovation more economical, more socially prestigious, more convenient, [and/or] more satisfying? C Compatibility Is the innovation consistent with the values, past experience, and needs of the potential adopters? S Support Is there enough support to do this? Is there enough time, energy, money, and resources to ensure the project’s success? Is there also administrative and political support for the project? [as presented by Wilson, et. al.(2001)]
Competencies What competencies do online teachers need? The four core competencies for online teaching are presented in the model, however, specific skills are uniquely associated with the environment in which the teacher will be working. Competencies of Skilled Online Teachers Competency Descriptions Design Instructional design is the process of planning for the development and delivery of effective education and training materials. (This assumes subject matter expertise is available.) Development The actual production of the software version or elements of an online course and the supporting instructional materials. (The instructional environment can drastically influence the skills needed.) Facilitation Course management that promotes online communication with students and the creation of online learning environments that require or encourage communications between students Legal and Ethical A range of issues including copyright, acceptable use, plagiarism, piracy, and ownership of the newly created course materials.
Summary Teacher Preparation Legal and Ethical Issues – laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and associated consequences Facilitation – instructor skills and behaviors, and strategies and techniques for course delivery Development – creation of the media to support the content, production of the software, and more Design – analysis, instructional design, creative design, and more Comfort with Online Technologies – teachers’ beliefs about their own ability to use it Readiness for Change – the types of questions or concerns they express
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