Over time, options for learning have increased and expanded in scope and format. Collins and Halverson (2009) discussed that expectations for education have shifted over the past decades with the emphasis on student success at the core, but the learners’ responsibility and desire to learn what they value, as opposed to following someone else’s path, have increased. Choice is central to this shift, and online learning provides more choice in terms of how and when an individual can engage in learning.
Online learning is an interactive environment that promotes the constructivist principle of learning focused on understanding and meaning making (Conrad, 2005; Lee, 2009). It is about knowledge construction, not knowledge instruction. Tavangarian, Leypold, Nölting, Röser, and Voigt (2004) contributed to describing e-learning as constructivist due to the knowledge construction process that occurs, wherein the learner’s experience is transformed into knowledge. In this type of environment, the instructor’s role transitions to a learning facilitator, as compared with the instructor’s traditional didactic role. This facilitator role guides students as they move along in their learning, and the learner takes an active role as compared with being a passive receptacle for knowledge (Smaldino et al., 2008). Berge, Collins, and Bruce-Hayter (1995) also looked at online learning from the constructivist paradigm in which learners assume more control of their own learning. More specifically, the authors viewed online learning as learning that promotes the constructivist principles of having learners think critically, solve problems, accommodate different perspectives, and engage in authentic learning activities.
Launching a new online program for the first time presents challenges and opportunities for all stakeholders - institutions, administrators, faculty members, and students. This paper explores the initial perceptions and experiences of faculty members preparing new courses for online delivery for the first time in a graduate level MBA program. In addition to the transition to developing course materials for the online context, another layer of complexity included the development of the online course as a completely new course within the faculty members’ discipline. Grounded in experiential learning theory and the ADDIE model for instructional design, the qualitative study uncovers themes related to learning not only how to prepare a course for online delivery, but also the learning that the faculty member experiences him or herself throughout the process. The findings focus on new ways of thinking about teaching and learning, creativity and story-telling, building interactivity into course design and learning activities, and the significance of proper support prior to and during online course development. Practical implications for future faculty who are new to online teaching and learning are shared to help both faculty and administrators prepare for and support new and continuing online education initiatives.
keywords: online learning, e-learning, instructional design, digital learning, faculty development.
Nom de la manifestation
12th Annual International Technology, Education, and Development Conference