The best Online learning is planned. The problem for many of us right now, is that we don't have the time to plan for it.
Online learning experiences are developed and designed with the same care and time that we have put into crafting our in-person learning experiences over the years. Online learning is a lot of work, but it can support our learners in many of the same ways that our in-person experiences do.
Our move into emergency remote teaching and concurrent/hybrid environments has it's challenges:
Online education, including online teaching and learning, has been studied for decades. Numerous research studies, theories, models, standards, and evaluation criteria focus on quality online learning, online teaching, and online course design. What we know from research is that effective online learning results from careful instructional design and planning, using a systematic model for design and development.7 The design process and the careful consideration of different design decisions have an impact on the quality of the instruction. And it is this careful design process that will be absent in most cases in these emergency shifts.
Now, as we look forward to a new season of remote learning, we face the uncertainty of what school will look like, but we know there will be a need for online learning for some (if not all) students, and some (if not all) of the school year.
That is why this course exists.
During the last few months I've done more reading, researching, and creating on remote, distance, and online learning than ever before. I've worked with a dozen schools and districts on the current situation and planning for what comes next. Our community has put on webinars, summits, and online events meant to support the work teachers, school leaders, and parents are doing around the world.
Through all of this I've been developing this course. One that I started to create during my Master's Degree program in Global and International Education at Drexel University, and that I've continued to refine while teaching online courses for the Penn Literacy Network at UPenn Graduate School of Education.
This work of moving towards adaptable instruction and assessment has always been important, but now it is imperative.
The Online Learning Master Course focuses on how to prepare for flexible learning environments (in-person, hybrid/concurrent/parallel, and online) that call for adaptable instruction and assessment.
Together we'll walk through the research and practices that may never replace face-to-face instruction, but can provide an engaging and empowering learning experience for our learners.