Part One: Online Teaching and Learning

  • Published 2003 in

Abstract

Sustainable online education is characterized by its ability to persist when extraordinary internal or external funding stops. Unfortunately, it seems to be a rare phenomenon. In most cases online education is sustainable when it generates an economic surplus or reduces costs. (Page 27) Today's students often have full-time jobs and families to take care of and many are reluctant to participate if it means relinquishing high-quality family life and job achievements. They need flexible education: education that allows them to combine job, family, and education in a manageable way. (Page 42) Both studies show that online students have better average grades and a lower percentage of failing grades. This does not necessarily show that online courses were better than traditional part-time courses, but it shows that online learning seems to work very well for students who have chosen to study online. (Page 55) In correspondence courses, teachers are accustomed to mail carriers who deliver mail once a day. Online teachers, however, may receive e-mail 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This online immediacy results in student demand for swifter responses and, hence, a heavier workload for teachers. (Page 70) In traditional education and training allocation of resources is controlled by the " ringing of the bell ". (Page 70) You are going to work harder in teaching a course online, at least the first time.... Being a " virtual " professor is a little bit like parenthood. You are " on duty " all the time, and there seems to be no end to the demands on your time and energy. (Page 70) Part One Figure 2. The online teacher's workload Online education offers students excellent opportunities for individual communication with their tutors. They can be contacted via e-mail 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Few learning environments provide such opportunities for individual access to teachers. It is obvious that online students appreciate always having a personal tutor available. It is the students' dream, but it could soon become a nightmare for the tutors.

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    8 Figures and Tables

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