Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Online practice improves teaching

ABCTE is finding that in order to improve their program they should have all of potential teachers teach an online lesson in their subject area. This would help reinforce the subject matter, help others that might be struggling with that subject matter and give teachers some experience with online teaching. Just as all teachers now have some experience with ELL, special needs and gifted students, they will all soon have to teach a virtual class.

Now it turns out there is some research that says this is the right path according to the Chronicle of Higher Ed story: Learning from Online. Researchers at Purdue University at Calumet believe that learning how to do distance education properly can make professors better at designing and administering their classroom-based courses. It really reinforces what they are working towards.

From the article:
“Since most professors have spent their lives holding forth from the front of a lecture hall, many have not had to engineer their lesson plans with the sort of rigor required of a well-designed online course, Buckenmeyer says.When teaching online, she says, “You have to pay more attention to the navigation of the course, the clarity of the course, the objectives of the course, the reason why you’re assigning activities and assessments, [and make] certain everything is perfectly clear to the students. In a face-to-face situation, you can get by with just coming in and not having prepared and winging a class session. You can’t do that online.”

Teaching in the virtual world not only does prepares teachers for hybrid schools of the future, but will make them better teachers in a brick and mortar classroom as well.

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