Stephen (instructor of ETEC 500), Jeff, and I presented at 33rd McGraw-Hill Ryerson, National Teaching, Learning, & Technology Conference which took place on May 13-15 at SFU Burnaby.
Debunking the online course cookie-cutter myth: the impact of the instructor
The question of learner-centered, interactive learning has long been an issue in the discussion of the benefits of online distance education. Collaborative/cooperative learning, social development theory, and communities of practice are concepts underlying this issue. At the University of British Columbia (UBC), the birthplace of WebCT, more than 100 courses are delivered online, including a number of courses which are concurrently delivered by different instructors.
This paper addresses how instructors plan, develop, and promote interactive learning. By examining a course which has multiple sections taught by different instructors, factors leading to different levels of student-student and student-instructor interactivity will be investigated. Depending on the instructor’s attitudes towards teaching and learning, knowledge of and capabilities in using technology, relationships with students, and ways of facilitating communication, there is a difference in the way student learning takes place. This paper sheds light on how the instructor’s facilitation/scaffolding makes a difference to student learning in a learner-centered and interactive learning environment. The intended audience members include instructional designers and instructional support staff for online courses, and instructors teaching online courses.