Design of online and adult education

Simone Conceicao (2007) in her chapter, Setting Directions for the Future of Online and Adult Education, shares that the design of online instruction needs to focus on the characteristics of learners and the role of the instructor. As well, creating effective online learning is more than converting a regular classroom course. Important aspects, commonly recommended in course design, are keeping a uniform appearance and navigation, and creating activities for active participation. Also, evaluating an online course needs to evaluate more than the instructor. It also needs to assess the technology, user interface and design of the content.

More so, choosing the appropriate teaching strategy will need to consider the course goals and objectives and at the same time, provide multiple strategies for diverse learner needs. As well, online learners might be at different learning stages of development and have different goals and needs. This needs to be addressed. Mentoring students online by instructors helps with needs within and beyond the content. As well, individual feedback is essential. As instructors become more comfortable with technology, they will experiment more with new teaching strategies.

Online discussion boards help support higher-order constructivist learning, develop a learning community and allow active learning. Conceicao ends that effective strategies such as these “combined with prompt feedback and high expectations guiding principles, make the basis for effective online instruction” (p.90).

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