Online Teaching Models


Since many colleagues are finalizing their online courses for the delay of the spring term, I would like to share several online teaching models. This article, Online Course Design by Steven Mintz (February 2020) was just posted in Inside Higher Ed yesterday.

Classic (faculty-driven) Models
  1. Asynchronous task-based. Student, in fixed sequence, completes a series of tasks: review assigned readings, view digitized lecture, take part in discussion, and complete an assessment.

  2. Synchronous. Students take part in a live virtual session using a video conferencing watches lecture or take part in a seminar-like discussion. Could integrate problem-solving exercises, quizzes, video clips, polls or surveys, questions and answers, guest lectures, debates, and hangouts.

Contemporary (Student-driven) Models. These are more collaborative, self-directed, self-paced, and self-guided, inquiry-focused, project-and problem-driven, and team-based.

  1. Active Learning #1. Students engage in activities outside of a classroom through a collaborative approach that emphasizes group work. Teams are assigned a task, problem or project, then engages in an inquiry and produces an outcome: a research report, a collaborative website, an annotated text or bibliography or webography, a podcast, a digital story, or something else. Requires communication through shared documents, blog or wiki, or by participating in a hangout or web conference or texting.

  2. Active Learning #2. Students are introduced to case-based learning through text, a video, a personal statement, or a collection of primary sources to a real-world example. They analyze and reflect, discuss and draw conclusions, tease out implications, and fashion generalizations. Can help develop ability to diagnose a problem, evaluate a decision, and apply a theoretical or conceptual framework in a real life context.

  3. Active Learning #3. Students undertake experiential learning, which can be an internship or externship, or engage in a clinical, lab, or service learning experience, and then share, discuss, analyze, and evaluate what they learned and encountered with their classmates and instructor. Also, they could conduct interviews, compile oral histories, take photographs, collect data, and otherwise gather information, which can be shared and interpreted in synchronous or asynchronous sessions.

"If there’s anything we’ve learned about online learning over the past decade, it’s that truly effective online instruction is more demanding and generally more costly than its face-to-face equivalent"

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