How Distance Education Has Changed Teaching and the Role of the Instructor

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1 How Distance Education Has Changed Teaching and the Role of the Instructor Therese DonGiovanni O Neil, M.Ed. Indiana University of Pennsylvania E-Leader Conference, Bratislava, Slovakia June 11-15, 2006

2 Pedagogy vs Andragogy Pedagogy the art and science of teaching children Emerged from the seventh to twelfth centuries Role of teacher structured around this theory Andragogy Studying the Adult Learner Adult education organized during the 1920s Adult students did not fit the pedagogical model , no studies explaining the adult learner 1950s, no theory was developed Term Andragogy developed in the 1960s Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 2

3 Distance Education Learners Over-whelming majority of students in the US are adult learners Segue from Pedagogy to Andragogy Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 3

4 Distance Education Emerges 1960s to 1970s time of critical change 1970s broad acceptance 1980s it arrived as one of the flavors of the decade in education, especially in higher education Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 4

5 Changes in Faculty Roles Must adhere to this new arena of teaching Factors influencing this change: New instructional technology Increases in distance learning enrollments Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 5

6 What are these changes in the online environment? Interaction very important aspect Interaction with content Interaction with other people Instructor is the facilitator of learning Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 6

7 Most important Role of the online instructor Model effective teaching Keep discussions on track Contributing special knowledge and insights Weaving together discussion threads and course components Maintaining group harmony Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 7

8 Online Learning Student-centered Student-driven Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 8

9 Most Critical Issue The Role of the Instructor Instructor becomes a member of the team No longer in total control of the learning environment Students not dependent on the teacher alone for knowledge No longer information transmitters but are guides who arrange meaningful learner-centered experiences Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 9

10 Constructivist Model of Teaching Many studies suggest best for online teaching Learners use their knowledge to solve problems that are meaningful and realistically complex Teacher s role is one of a facilitator asking questions to help them discover the answer themselves Learning environment is created in which students are active participants in the learning process. Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 10

11 Transactional Distance Gap Michael Moore s Theory of Transactional Distance The gap of understanding and communication between the teachers and learners caused by geographic distance. Filling this gap defines the role of faculty in distance education Defines the relationship of instructor and learner Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 11

12 Instructor -Bridges the Gap Special teaching techniques Distinctive procedures in instructional design Facilitation of interaction Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 12

13 Teaching/Learning Benchmarks Smith outlines 51 instructor competencies necessary for delivery of an effective online program Outlines an Instructor-training program Student interaction with faculty and other students facilitated through voice mail and Feedback and questions is constructive Effective research methods by students including assessment of validity of resources Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 13

14 Changes in the K-12 Curriculum Immerging charter schools Virtual high schools Advanced placement courses Online testing Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 14

15 Virtual Schools As of May, 2005, 22 States in the US have virtual schools One-third of public school districts had students enrolled in distance education courses in Variety of pre-secondary schools in Canada, Australia, the Uk and elsewhere have opened their Virtual Doors Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 15

16 Why Virtual Schools? Fundamental changes in our society and in the students Learners recognize that learning can be an anytime-anywhere experience by using current technology Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 16

17 Virtual Schools, defined Courses are primarily online via the Internet Specifically targets K-12 audiences Reaches an audience larger and broader than a traditional schools Is either accredited or linked with an accredited organization Has the ability to grant credit to its students and may offer a diploma Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 17

18 Virtual Educators? Reshaping the routine learning modes of the traditional school day to a dynamic, interactive real-world learning environment Students take ownership of the learning process Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 18

19 Advantages of Virtual Schools Students proceed at their own pace Students can replay audio lectures or video clips Slower students do not slow down their classmates Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 19

20 Disadvantages of Virtual Schools Poor substitute for face-to-face interaction with teachers and peers Issue around self-motivation Socialization of the student, a benefit to the brick and mortar schools, is a concern Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 20

21 E-Learning Revolution Despite these disadvantages, virtual schools are rapidly growing in American elementary and secondary education Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 21

22 Higher Education needs to catch up Update teaching method courses to include teaching at a distance Future teachers need trained in the area of distance education Students graduating in 2006 must be prepared for teaching in the online environment A new kind of student requires a new kind of schooling Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 22

23 Areas of competence for distance instructors Course planning and organization that capitalize on distance learning strengths and minimize constraints Verbal and nonverbal presentation skills specific to distance learning situations Collaborative work with others to produce effective courses Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 23

24 Areas of competence for distance instructors Ability to use questioning strategies Ability to involve and coordinate student activities among several sites Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 24

25 Role of Instructor Requires a paradigm shift in perceptions of instructional time and space Virtual management techniques Ways of engaging students through virtual communications Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 25

26 Instructors need training Instructors need training and support to be willing to adopt this teaching paradigm and need to be cognizant of how the details of their course will be implemented in the new environment. Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 26

27 How to Train the Instructor Must be trained in the technology as well as the pedagogy of distance learning Requires a different set of skills and a different pedagogy The absence of formal training opportunities for faculty is the greats impediment for acceptance and subsequent use of the Internet in higher education Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 27

28 Survey of online faculty 24% indicated insufficient training in how to use the Web was an obstacle to Webbased teaching 45% indicated that they want additional training on how to teach using the Web Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 28

29 Who trains the teacher? United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Leading distance learning association in the US Founded in 1987 Addresses pre K-12, higher education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, home schooling and telemedicine. Focused on National and International Technology based Distance Learning Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 29

30 Teacher Education Goes Into Virtual Schooling (TEGIVS) Funded by a land grant university, Iowa State University Three complementary strategies Curriculum development in teacher education Tools to expose virtual schools will be created A National community of virtual school practice in teacher education is being developed Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 30

31 Common Themes Student-to-student interaction Student to teacher interaction Constructivist methods of teaching Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 31

32 Viewpoint of Zane Berge The technology will not improve learning any more than a new schoolhouse will improve learning in our brick-and-mortar classrooms today. Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 32

33 Teach old dogs new tricks? Perhaps the tricks are not new Just altered Updated Revamped to suit another environment Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 33

34 We do not have to re-invent the wheel to train the teacher to teach online Just re-structure the wheel, to travel into cyberspace. Therese DonGiovanni O'Neil, M.Ed 34

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