The importance of teaching and learning online

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Published: 06th February 2017
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The internet has significantly changed how we communicate with one another as well as how we access, share and facilitate information. Many of us are already familiar with internet based communication technologies and have comfortably integrated into our daily life. Understanding the place of online learning in digitally facilitated social interaction, professional practice and education is becoming increasingly important.
Software and technology changes very rapidly, and it can be difficult to keep with these developments. It is important therefore to focus on understanding executive pedagogical strategies for online teaching rather than the technology itself - which can be applied, adapted and transferred between various software platforms and disciplines.
The 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group reveals the number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 6.7 million. Higher education adoption of massive open online courses (MOOCs) remains low, with most institutions still on the sidelines."The rate of growth in online enrollments remains extremely robust, even as overall higher education enrollments have shown a decline," said study co-author Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group.
Over 6.7 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year and among higher education students, 32 percent now take at least one course online. Only 2.6 percent of higher education institutions currently have a MOOC; another 9.4 percent report MOOCs are in the planning stages. Academic leaders remain unconvinced that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses, but do believe they provide an important means for institutions to learn about online pedagogy and among academic leaders, 77 percent rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face classes. The proportion of chief academic officers who believe their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education has not increased —it now stands at only 30.2 percent and also the proportion of chief academic leaders who say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy is at a new high of 69.1 percent. The perception of a majority of chief academic officers at all types of institutions is that lower retention rates for online courses remain a barrier to the growth of online instruction.
There are some key benefits of teaching online, one of them is that its increasing the flexibility of time. Learning and teaching can occur at times that are more convenient and productive for both students and teachers. Students can work at their own place within a given framework and the online learning/teaching engagement process can be broken into smaller more frequent portions of time, with an opportunity for reflection in-between. Online education is not restricted by differing international time zones. Another benefit includes the information sharing and this type of online education provides to access and share information more easily and readily. Teachers are able to join online communities of practice based on their area of interest rather than their geographic location. Also online education provides access to a greater depth and breadth of resources and information. Online learning develops digital literacy skills that are increasingly required in contemporary society and workplace environments.
Learning online is a different education, it's a natural progression and teachers need to see the the benefits of online education and the reason to change. Higher education institutions need to show leadership and have an integrated, aligned approach to their strategies, policies and expectations of teachers, while also providing support in terms of additional time, training and resources to allow teachers to develop their skills in the online teaching eviroment

Bibliografie

1. Babson Study: Over 6.7 Million Students Learning Online. Disponibil pe site-ul http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/1089/babson-study-over-67-million-students-learning-online- , accesat în data de 11.05.2015
2. Simon Mclntyre, Why is online teachind important?. Disponibil pe site-ul http://www.academia.edu/610248/Why_is_online_teaching_important , accesat la data de 11.05.2015

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