Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can E-Learning Strategies Help Us in Face to Face Classrooms? (part 3)

Communication and interaction are important
A teacher working for Virtual High School states that teaching online has helped her in her face to face classes. She is better at clarifying instructions and connecting with students and families, both of which require a more conscious effort when working online. In an online class, students do not have the benefit of tone of voice and teachers do not have the benefit of confused looks to know when to try a new approach. Online teachers must rely on clear and articulate instructions and building an environment of trust so students know they can contact their teacher when needed. Constant interaction between teacher and student is important.

Professional development is key
Virtual High School has a major professional development component because they understand that online learning is a "new perspective on the notion of teaching and learning," (Dorste and Dorste, p. 57). In order for teachers to be successful, they need to understand the technology used and also the pedagogical strategies that work for online learning. The same is true in the face to face classroom. If we want teachers to adopt the strategies that work for learning, we must support them to do so.

This concludes my reflection about how e-learning can help us in face to face classrooms. Can you think of other things that online learning is teaching us about how to increase learning in face to face classrooms?
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