Online Learning

Roles of Teachers in E-learning

This paper provides pathways for teachers to create online courses that engage students more effectively and present information for teachers about how to benefit from free tools and create lessons and applications for e-learning.

The role of teachers in the e-learning environments is very important. This part covers these issues to implement an e-learning programme: active learning, motivation and feedback. These ideas are very general and can be used as a base template.

Active Learning:

The learner centred instruction attempts to engage students in activities that support knowledge construction through media use. Some of the strategies promoting active learning in the classroom are as follows:

  • Students are involved in more than listening.
  • Less emphasis is placed on transmitting information and more on developing students’ skills.
  • Students are engaged in activities (e.g. Reading, writing, discussing and writing)
  • Greater emphasis is placed on students’ exploration of their attitudes and values.

The key principles of active learning as suggested by Barnes (1989) are:

  • Purposive
  • Reflective
  • Negotiated
  • Critical
  • Complex
  • Situation-driven
  • Engaged

 

 

 

Motivation

Motivation directly affects the way people learn. The motivational factors should be considered in E-learning course design. There are four components that need to be satisfied in order to construct a learning system.

  • Attention
  • Relevance
  • Confidence
  • Satisfaction

          Motivational Strategies for E-learning

  1. Attention strategies:

When students work in distance, they could have attention problems. These strategies help to maintain the attention at an optimal level.

  • Stimulating perception
  • Give incongruity and conflict
  • Using different types of examples to demonstrate a concept.
  • Using humour
  • Using inquiry
  • Requiring participation (active learning- use of interactive materials- multimedia).

Relevance Strategies:

The lesson design should draw a general picture of the concept and tell them why they are taking these materials in their syllabus and show them what is important for them in the lesson.

  • Give lecture content that present familiarity.
  • Orient the goals of the students according to lesson or vice versa.
  • Show them examples of more experienced students.
  • Present the worth of finishing the class.
  • Show the future usefulness of the course.
  • Match their needs with the course.
  • Show role models.

           

Confidence Strategies:

The students need to feel confident after they finished the class. The confidence Strategies should focus on learner performance.

  • Monitoring the leaning requirements (record keeping)
  • Matching the difficulty
  • Knowing the expectation of students and try to satisfy those.
  • Defining- announcing the success criteria
  • Presenting tools for goal setting-scheduling
  • Providing immediate feedback

Satisfaction Strategies:

Instructors can enhance satisfaction of students with these strategies...

  • Provide unexpected rewards (games)
  • Implement positive outcomes ( give results- immediate feedback)
  • Avoid negative punishments
  • Scheduling- matching the course according to the students` expectations.
  • Transfer Knowledge into real world settings ( use simulations)
  • Be fair in the test results.

Feedback

Feedback is one of the most valuable tools in the e-learning system because it allows us to monitor and improve the performance of students in several ways. Most of the times, students can make mistakes when they are new to the concept and trying to discover that concept by themselves. In these cases the best thing can be done is to show them quickly what the mistakes are and let them to have enough time and guidance to improve their performance in those parts that they had problems. Active learning in the class is also a good way to provide students to engage their own learning where we can also have performance related feedback.

Feedback in E-learning Environments

In the e-learning environment where students have to follow classes themselves, teachers should give immediate feedback. In immediate feedback students have a chance to see their mistakes quickly because they can have an opportunity to discover their incorrect action just looking backward.

Technological Tools to Implement the Teaching

  • Free open source software
  • Audio Recordings
  • Web content design
  • LMS tools
  1. Moodle
  2. Sakai project
  3. LAMS

 

Moodle

Moodle is designed to help teachers create almost any kind of online courses. The available tools are site management, assignment management, chat module, choice module, forum module, journal module, quiz module, resource module and survey module.

Sakai project:

Sakai project is a community project founded by The University of Michigan, Indian University, MIT, Stanford, the Portal Consortium and the Open knowledge initiative. Sakai has many tools to help organise lessons with no knowledge of HTML.

LAMS:

LAMS is a new tool for designing, managing and delivering online collaborative learning activities. LAMS gives the opportunity to teachers to create a visual environment with such activities as individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities. The LAMS is an ongoing project by the Macquarie University.  The available LAMS tools are assessment, branching, chat forum, image gallery, journal, mind map, survey, task, voting and wiki.

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