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here are many challenges and many rewards for online teachers. Not only does the instructor need to be comfortable with the material being taught, but also with the technology used to deliver the instruction.

The instructor who can make full use of the technology and the vast resources of the Web will certainly enhance the student's learning experience.

Some of the challenges faced by online instructors include:

  • Developing technical and media skills that enable the instructor to use the available (and developing) tools and technology to enrich and enhance the educational experience for their learners.
  • Encouraging contact between the learner and the instructor and between the learner and other learners in the course that promotes meaningful exchange and reflection of ideas and past experiences.

  • Balancing the goal of learner centredness and learner responsibility with the need to keep discussions focused on intended learning outcomes and course objectives (keeping online discussions on topic without getting overly involved and imposing too much control).

  • Encouraging meaningful collaboration and cooperation amongst students.

  • Developing meaningful active learning activities and apprentice-like activities that promote learning by doing.

  • Providing students with prompt feedback while maintaining a reasonable workload (both for student and teacher).

Check out our pages on "Tips and Strategies" to get some ideas on how you might meet these challenges.

Read what four experienced online instructors have to say about the "Perks and Pitfalls" of online instruction.


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Last updated April 4, Copyright 2001. ©
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