The Challengers

Successful Instructional Methods

Researcher Tomei (2006) examined and analyzed the methods of online and face-to-face teaching for teachers and students.  He conducted research on the impact of distance delivery of content versus the classroom and the traditional face-to-face instruction.  Also, he studied the various aspects of synchronous communication, chats, and email exchanges with teachers, students, and how many hours spent in the traditional classroom versus how many hours spent in an online educational environment.

Iowa State University College of Education offers a distance learning endorsement and certification that provides pre-service for teachers. Davis and Roblyer (2005) emphasizes that a great classroom teacher is not necessarily the same as an online teacher.  The skills sets needed are not the same as a traditional classroom setting.

Online students have three expectations for frequency of responses: communication with the professor, instructor feedback, and challenging online courses. The majority of online students (83 percent) expected the professor to communicate (Mupinga, Nora, & Yaw, 2006).

According to Oliver, Osborne, & Brady (2009), the following information is what teachers should do to prepare for an online course:

  • Supplement the content with creative assignments as needed.
  • Make the content and assignments relevant and authentic.
  • Include discussion assignments and facilitate the discussions.
  • Interact with the students; try to hold some face-to-face meetings.
  • Respond quickly to questions and grade promptly.
  • Provide individual attention to students.
  • Provide collaboration assignments between students.

According to Adams (2009), the following list contains five tips for teachers who wish to start an online course:

  • Enroll in an online professional development course or visit the International Association for K-12 Online Learning
  • Ask state department of education if there is a local agency that coordinates online teaching or visit Keeping Pace with K-12.
  • Submit their application and expect a rigorous screening process.
  • Look for opportunities to network with veteran online teachers.
  • Adapt to innovation.  Teachers are experts in teaching but students are mostly experts in technology.

Adams, C. (2009). Is Teaching Online Right for You? Instructor (1999) 118(6), 41-43.

Davis, N. E., & Roblyer, M. D. (2005). Preparing teachers for the 'schools that technology built': Evaluation of a program to train teachers for virtual schooling. Journal of Research on        Technology in Education, 37(4), 399-409.

Oliver, K., Osborne, J., & Brady, K. (2009). What are secondary students’ expectations for teachers in virtual school environments? Distance Education, 30(1), 23-45

Tomei, L. A. (2006). The Impact of Online Teaching on Faculty Load: Computing the Ideal Class Size for Online Courses. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14(3), 531-41.

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