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Do you want to Teach Online

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

More students are enrolling in online higher education degree programs. More and more online classes are becoming identical to campus classes. Taking online classes or getting an online degree enables students more flexibility with their education. Many find it easier as well to work if they need to when studying online. So since this trend is fairly new, who teaches these online courses? Instructors do, just as you see in the classroom. Yet one question that is always asked is what is the education background and do they have degrees in online teaching?  Instructors use the same information they would in class to teach online. Any problems that some may encounter is not about the course outline which is consistent with the classroom.  The difference is only in how the courses are delivered.  Live on campus, via email, websites or fax with online studies.  Some institutions have complicated websites and others simply use chatboards and email.

Many of the online instructors may not be as skilled as they need at using the new delivery systems and all the programs that are associated with it. These include simulations, multimedia or podcasts, which are not in your typical classroom. Sometimes of these resources have a steep learning curve to the technologically challenged. Instructors interested in teaching online courses have looked at taking courses themselves to see what the experience is like.  This is a good idea. Whether they take courses to meet their licenses requirements or advance their careers or courses to teach them more about how the online delivery system works the end result will be they will be better online instructors.

They say the best student is one that wants to learn. I think the same stands true for instructors. Some instructors were awarded their degree 30 or 40 or more years ago. Keeping up to date in the delivery systems is as important as being up to date in their fields. There are times I am sure when it’s as much a learning experience for the instructors as it is for the students.