522 Module 1 Reflection

A definition of online teaching and learning:
The basic definition of online teaching and learning is as simple as the conveyance of knowledge and or information to students through the medium that is the Internet. In reality, online teaching and learning opportunities are almost limitless due to the nature of the medium. Courses can be video tutorials that are archived for review as needed; courses can be conducted in real-time using video conferencing, chat, or VOIP software; or course materials can be delivered using a combination of methods from discussion boards, recorded presentations and slide decks. Students benefit from the removal (usually) of a geographic requirement to participate in the course activities due to the nature of the materials being online. The definition of online learning opportunities for organizations that facilitate these courses is profit! Online courses eliminate restrictions of geography as well as brick and mortar facilities to house students during the course.

Are learning outcomes in online courses/programs comparable to face-to-face courses/programs? Why or why not?
Learning outcomes in online courses are absolutely comparable to face to face course offerings. The courses themselves may vary greatly in the methods used to engage students and relay information in an online medium versus an in-person lecture. Despite these differences it is absolutely possible for students both "on the ground" and attending online leave a course having achieved the same learning outcomes. This is accomplished in several ways. 1: Instructors both online and in-person can base their courses off the same materials, while exercises and deliverables may differ, thoughtful and ongoing evaluation could confirm that the same learning outcomes are being achieved by utilizing the strengths of each medium to achieve understanding of the materials among the student body. One common misconception however is that an in-person course can be recorded and made available online and just like that, it’s now an online course. Nothing could be further from the truth in my opinion. While courses both in-person and online have strengths and weaknesses they do not directly translate and maintain full functionality and the highest benefit to the student without significant modification.

The strengths of in-person course materials are they are timely and in real time. Instructor(s) and students are together at the same time and place allowing for prompt q&a, discussions, and deliverables are all introduced in unison. Classes typically meet several times per week which can help keep student engagement high as the material is regularly refreshed throughout the week. Online courses benefit from a flexible schedule which allows students to tackle material on their own schedule when they have time, materials are typically archived for easy reference, and media resources that support the course material are never more than a link away.


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