Two Canadian university instructors who teach online have drawn upon their own experiences, as well as those of other online teachers, to come up with a list of principles to guide new online instructors and course developers.
Authors Jim Henry and Jeff Meadows of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta say, among other things:
- Technology is a vehicle, not a destination.
- Effective online courses are defined by teaching, not technology.
- A great web interface will not save a poor course, but a poor web interface will destroy a potentially great course.
- Excellence comes from ongoing assessment and refinement.
- For teaching online, say Henry and Meadows:
“[It is] not sufficient to be a content expert. Nor is it sufficient to be ‘tech-savvy.’ It is not even sufficient to be an excellent traditional classroom teacher. Because the online world is a categorically different environment, a particular blend of skills and knowledge is necessary if success is to be found in this domain.”
Read the paper — “Absolutely Riveting Online Course: Nine Principles for Excellence in Web-Based Teaching” (CANADIAN JOURNAL OF LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY, vol. 34, no. 1, Winter 2008) — to learn more.
The Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology [ISSN: 1499-6685], published by the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education, is a peer-reviewed journal that welcomes papers on all aspects of educational technology and learning. For more information, contact: CNIE/RCIE, 260 Dalhousie Street, Suite 204, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1N 7E4; email: [email protected].