Module 1. Goals and History

This module provides an overview of the history of online learning and some of the problems that educators might seek to solve through it.

This module addresses the following standards:

  • The online teacher realizes that online education is not a fixed body of knowledge but is complex and ever evolving. OTE.1.D.1
  • The online teacher understands the role of online teaching in preparing students for the global community of the future. OTE.1.K.2
  • The online teacher understands concepts, assumptions, debates, processes of inquiry, and ways of knowing that are central to the field of online teaching and learning. OTE.1.K.3
  • The online teacher understands the relationship between online education and other subject areas and real life situations. OTE.1.K.4
  • The online teacher understands the relationship between online teaching and advancing technologies. OTE.1.K.5

Online learning, eh?

Watch

Leaders in online learning have emerged from a variety of fields seeking to address a variety of problems.  Watch these videos and consider differences of perspective they bring and how the issues that are raised will impact you as an online educator.

Limitations of Face-to-Face Education

Watch this video from Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, and consider the following:

  • How does the emergence and growth of online learning reflect social needs?
  • What problems might online institutions and educators tackle that have been difficult to address in face-to-face settings?

Three Principles of Improving Education

Watch this video by Sir Ken Robinson, and consider the following:

  • How can online learning improve our ability to meet the diverse needs of students?
  • How can online learning support curiosity?
  • How can online learning support creativity?

Read

Read the following report:

Picciano, A. & Seaman, J. (2010). Class connections: High school reform and the role of online learning. Babson Survey Research Group.

As you do so, consider:

  • What are the goals of online learning?
  • What are the concerns of online learning?
  • How are advancing technologies influencing online learning?

Explore

Explore the following infographic (click to expand), and consider:

  • What factors influence the growth of online education, including technological, social, and economic developments?
  • What implications does online learning have for the job market for your students?

The History of Online Education

Read the following infographic (click to expand), and consider:

  • How did earlier technologies (e.g., television, radio, shorthand) influence distance education, and how (if at all) are digital technologies different?
  • What are the pros and cons or affordances and limitations of online learning?

Adventures in Online Learning
Source: NonProfitCollegesOnline.com

Discussion and Reflection Questions

  • What are the persistent major problems in education that you as an online educator would like to address?
  • What strategies, tools, attitudes, and opportunities will you need to do this?
  • How can we use online learning to improve education?
  • What problems does online learning pose for education?
  • What factors influence the growth of online education, including technological, social, and economic developments?
  • What implications does online learning have for the job market for your students?
  • How has online learning changed in just the past decade (as a result of technological advancements)?