Home > Walden 6510 > Setting up An Online Learning Experience

Setting up An Online Learning Experience

I’d like to discuss steps related to starting an online training module or course. This discussion will consider the importance of understanding available technology and the value of establishing learner expectations and additional considerations for instructors.

First it’s critical that an instructor understand the technology options and tools because the right combination makes it possible repurpose learning experiences and activities previously designed for face-to-face environments. (Boettcher, J. & Conrad, R. 2010)

Vodcasts and Podcasts for example can help instructors reproduce lectures and posting these lectures to iTunes makes them portable via mobile devices. Additionally, tools such as Web cameras, video services such as Skype, and conference tools including Adobe Connect allow physically separated learning communities to have synchronous discussions and see facial expressions or hear verbal inflections missed in threaded discussions.

While there are several technologies available for teaching and learning, I’d recommend instructors initially choose up to three – and these should be germane to specific learning goals. (Boettcher & Conrad. 2010)

Finally, it is essential that instructors understand their institution’s course management system  (CMS). At a minimum, the CMS should facilitate file uploads, document sharing and revision, discussion forums, grade books, and groups. (Boettcher & Conrad. 2010)

Tangentially, the CMS we use at my organization allows students to access their transcripts. It also supports Adobe Connect.

The second aspect an instructor should understand is students need clear guidelines of what’s expected of them. Our resource indicates students tend to be more satisfied with a course when they know exactly what is required. This includes setting and sharing policies related to feedback and participation. (Boettcher & Conrad. 2010) Clarity of expectations ties into Malcolm Knolwes’ andragogy theory. Knowles believed adult learners were motivated and self-directed. These are fine qualities to possess and will better serve students when they are paired with a clear understanding of course goals and desired outcomes. (Conrad, R. & Donaldson, J. 2011)

A third set of considerations includes introductions of instructors and students. Instructors are encouraged to talk about the human aspects of their life. (Paloff & Pratt. n.d.) Additionally, icebreakers are suggested to help build social presence of the community. Instructors should be aware of students’ time zones. This will be helpful when forming groups.

Concluding, I’ve learned that I must be present and active within the online community to support effective online instruction. Regular feedback to students is a part of this. When it comes to students, I’ve learned that each of them will bring their own personal experiences, skills, and ideas to the experience.

Works cited:

Boettcher, J.V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The Online Teaching Survial Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J.A. (2011). Engaging the Online Learner: Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction (Updated ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (nd). Launching the Online Learning Experience. Laureate Inc.

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Categories: Walden 6510
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