Edtech 522: Week One Reflection

Define online teaching and learning
    Online teaching is the act of teaching a class almost completely or totally online. It is unique because many of the traditional elements of the classroom are interpreted in different ways. For example, students do meet in a brick and mortar setting nor do they usually adhere to set class meeting times. Students are often free to work on materials any time of the day, which allows for greater flexible for the student. Another unique element of online teaching is the fact that the class may be full of students from different cities, states and even countries. Students and the professor are free to travel as long as they have access to the web!
    Online learning is the act of acquiring and using new knowledge gained through an online setting. Learning takes place in many of the traditional forms (lectures and homework), but can also occur through activities that take advantage of the technology available at the time. For example, students might conduct a virtual scavenger hunt, hold a discussion using a forum, or explore another world using an online game. Additionally, the online classroom gives students who may be too shy or uncomfortable participating in discussion face-to-face the opportunity to chat in a safe environment.  

Describe the various models used in online teaching and learning (blended/hybrid), 
fully online, web-based, LMS, etc.

There are several models used to deliver classes online:

  • Blended/Hybrid- These classes mix a combination of face-to-face meetings with online activities and collaboration. Students are often asked to complete assignments during online weeks and then present these assignments when face-to-face. The instructor may also use the site to present sample material or notes, as mentioned in Teaching Online by Susan Ko and Steve Rossen.
  • Fully Online- These courses do not have meeting places and some do not have meeting hours. Students are free to complete assignments at home or on the road on their time. Discussion boards become an important focus in these classes as they are often the main way for students to collaborate and share with their peers.
  • LMS model- The learning management system model incorporates third party software into the classroom environment. An example of popular LMS includes Blackboard and Moodle. These programs provide a familiar and consistent interface for students and staff and offer valuable tools. Some of these tools include instant messaging, grade books and assignment uploaders.



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