The Art of E-Teaching

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [DUT Library]On: 07 October 2014, At: 21:38Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>The Journal of Continuing HigherEducationPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:</p><p>The Art of E-TeachingBarbara J. Hoskins aa Clemson University ,Published online: 08 Feb 2010.</p><p>To cite this article: Barbara J. Hoskins (2010) The Art of E-Teaching, The Journal of Continuing HigherEducation, 58:1, 53-56, DOI: 10.1080/07377360903524641</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever orhowsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arisingout of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp;Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 58:5356, 2010Copyright 2010, Association for Con tinu ing Higher EducationISSN 0737-7363DOI: 10.1080/07377360903524641</p><p>Barbara J. Hoskins is a contributing editor from Clemson University. Address correspondence to Barbara J. Hoskins, Offi ce of Distance Education, College of Health, Education and Human Development, Clemson University, 426 Edwards Hall, Clemson, SC 29634, USA (E-mail:</p><p>All genuine education comes about through ex-perience. John Dewey, 1938 (Knowles, 1978)</p><p>As we have discussed in earlier columns, teachers are facing a new generation of students. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac Issue 200910, 85% of full-time students in four-year institutions are under the age of 25. With part-time students, the percentage is 40%. In two-year institutions, 78% of the full-time students and 44% of the part-time students are under the age of 25 (The NationStudents: Enrollments and Demographics, 2009). This identifies them as part of the Millennial Generation (Lancaster &amp; Stillman, 2005). Millennials, or the digital generation, are generally described as global citizens, socially conscious, and diverse. They have grown up with the Internet, cell phones, and multiple methods of electronic communication; however, they learned in tradi-tional classrooms where they were required to disconnect (Gravett &amp; Throckmorton, 2007; Howe &amp; Strauss, 2000; Lancaster &amp; Stillman, 2005; Martin &amp; Tulgan, 2006).</p><p>So who is teaching these 21st century students? Faculty members generally fall into the Baby Boomer generation (born 19461964) or into Generation X (born 19651980). They have watched technology evolve from the days of radio and vacuum tubes, through multiple generations of microcomputers, to information at your fi ngertips (Lancaster &amp; Stillman, 2005). They use the current tech-nology on a daily basis as they access email messages, do library searches, use Internet search engines, and write using word processing software. They may or may not </p><p>be integrating the tools of distributed learning into their classes. Like their students, most of them learned in a traditional classroom with a standard lecture format.</p><p>So what qualities are needed to be an e-teacher? Terry Anderson (2004) lists three necessary qualities. First, to be an excellent e-teacher, you must be an excellent teacher. You must enjoy the process of working with students and guiding them along the path to knowledge. Second, you need to be comfortable in an electronic environment, with all of its rewards and challenges. Finally, you need to be a bit of a pioneer with the fl exibility to improvise when the technology does not work the way you thought it would work (Anderson, 2004).</p><p>For this column, we will use as our framework the Seven Principles of Good Practice proposed by Chickering and Gamson in the American Association for Higher Education Bulletin (1987) and later modifi ed by Chick-ering and Ehrmann (1996) to include more technology examples. This framework helps us explore the transition from being an excellent traditional teacher to an excellent e-teacher. These seven principles can easily be adapted to any course, program, or discipline. They were origi-nally targeted at undergraduate teaching, but also relate to graduate and continuing education programs. The seven principles are (a) encourages contact between student and faculty, (b) develops reciprocity and cooperation among students, (c) encourages active learning, (d) gives prompt feedback, (e) emphasizes time on task, (f) communicates high expectations, and (g) respects diverse talents and ways of learning (Chickering &amp; Gamson, 1987).</p><p>The Art of E-TeachingBarbara J. Hoskins</p><p>Distance Learning Exchange</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>DU</p><p>T L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 2</p><p>1:38</p><p> 07 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>54 Distance Learning Exchange</p><p>Encourages Contact between Students and Faculty</p><p>The contact between students and the teacher may be one of the most critical factors in the success of a course. Students who feel a strong connection with the teacher tend to be more motivated to learn and more engaged with the content (Chickering &amp; Ehrmann, 1996). Teachers interact with students in four different areas during a course: (a) socialization, (b) information exchange, (c) knowledge construction, and (d) development (Salmon, 2003). During socialization, the teacher begins to build the learning community with introductions. In an online course, teachers begin the introductions through a welcom-ing email message, discussion board entry, and a photo and biographical sketch on the syllabus, and with a webcam during a synchronous meeting. Similarly, the students can introduce themselves through a discussion board post-ing with attached photo and various group activities. The community is strengthened through the visual connections (Palloff &amp; Pratt, 1999). Another socialization technique used in the traditional classroom is the use of icebreak-ers. This technique is easily transferred to the electronic classroom through the use of activities like online polls, clickers, virtual scavenger hunts, and games (Shank, 2007). The growing use of social media connections is another conduit for socialization. The area of online information exchange is accomplished through posted assignments, group activities, synchronous meetings, discussion board postings, and email messages. Knowledge construction occurs when students are able to relate the information to their own experiences. This can be accomplished during discussion board postings, refl ection assignments, group activities, and synchronous meetings. As in a traditional classroom, the role of the online teacher is to guide the process and help the students make the connections. The development phase of the interactions between online faculty and students can be transformational and creative. Students examine previous concepts and create new ap-plications for the content to share with their classmates (Salmon, 2003). The online teacher becomes motivator and cheerleader (Palloff &amp; Pratt, 1999).</p><p>Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students</p><p>Learning is best when it is a social activity and is enhanced through the use of collaborative efforts. This is equally important in the traditional classroom and in the electronic classroom. Palloff and Pratt (1999) recommend </p><p>that it is important in distance learning to develop a sense of community to have a successful learning experience. In a traditional classroom, this is accomplished through activities like break-out groups, team assignments, pair-ing, and facilitated discussions. These same techniques are employed in the electronic classroom through virtual connections. Additionally, students have the fl exibility of communications with each other that are not time or place-bound. This actually shortens the communication time line. Instead of meeting occasionally when it is convenient for all of the members, the team can exchange information and data frequently on individual time schedules. (Chick-ering &amp; Ehrmann, 1996). The effective use of discussion board forums helps build the learning community of students. Establishing guidelines for postings in a rubric that rewards students for supporting their postings with external resources, adding comments that stimulate fur-ther discussion, encouraging productive critiques of each others comments, and emphasizing the quality rather than the quantity of the postings will encourage the developing of a community of inquiry (Brookfi eld, 2009).</p><p>Encourages Active Learning</p><p>Active learning is engaged learning. It involves discus-sion, refl ection, relation, and application of the course content (Chickering &amp; Ehrmann, 1996). Active learn-ing concentrates on the higher order learning skills in Blooms taxonomy. The engaging, collaborative activities in a traditional classroom can be adapted to the electronic classroom, but attention needs to be given to the needs of the online learner. The activities should be directly related to the learning objectives and sensitive to the time restraints experienced by many online learners (Conrad &amp; Donaldson, 2004). Active learning is also referred to as authentic learning or problem oriented learning. The activities should have real-world relevance, be ill-defi ned (no obvious answer) to encourage critical thinking, require sustained investigation from multiple perspectives, and encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. The results should allow for multiple interpretations and outcomes. The most frequent examples are in the forms of case studies, games and simulations, team activities, and refl ection studies (Conrad &amp; Donaldson, 2004; Lombardi, 2007).</p><p>Gives Prompt Feedback</p><p>Learning is focused through feedback. It gives students the opportunity to assess their progress, identify their weak-nesses, and celebrate their successes. In the traditional </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>DU</p><p>T L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 2</p><p>1:38</p><p> 07 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>The Journal of Continuing Higher Education 55</p><p>classroom this occurs during class (including non-verbal clues), in assignment grading, and through team critiques. In the electronic classroom, we need to compensate for the non-verbal clues and to outline the expectations. The syllabus should include expectations of when the teacher will respond to email messages (within 48 hours except weekends and holidays), when assignments will be graded and returned (within one week), participation requirements in discussion forums and synchronous meetings, and how to access the online grade book. Other forms of feedback can be in the form of acknowledging receipt of electronically submitted assignments, quizzes (graded or ungraded), elec-tronic portfolios, interactions during synchronous meetings, and the use of emoticons during electronic interchanges (Chickering &amp; Ehrmann, 1996).</p><p>Emphasizes Time on Task</p><p>Time on task can be an issue for both the teacher and the students in an electronic classroom. Students sometimes have the perception that an electronic course is easier and requires less time than a traditional course. To counter this misperception, the syllabus and course descriptions should include a statement about the expected weekly time commitment. Establishing benchmarks of content completion and demonstration of understanding throughout the course will assist the students in avoiding the temptation to procrastinate until the last moment. Providing visual indicators like a calendar of activities and assignment due dates will also assist the student in plan-ning time for all of the course requirements. E-teachers also need to plan their time. Teaching is no longer at a scheduled time but can become a 24-hour, 7-day a week activity without established ground rules for accessibility. E-teachers can also manage the content delivery process by recording and adding links in the course management system for short lecture modules, virtual fi eld trips, and FAQs (Chickering &amp; Ehrmann, 1996; Palloff &amp; Pratt, 1999).</p><p>Communicates High Expectations</p><p>In all teaching situations, students tend to perform at the level of expectation. This is true of both the traditional classroom and the electronic classroom. Ground rules for performance should be established in all communica-tions with the students (Chickering &amp; Ehrmann, 1996). The syllabus sets the tone for expectations by including clear learning objectives for the course plus ground rules for attendance, participation in synchronous meetings, participation in discussion forums, policies about late </p><p>assignments, rubrics for grading assignments, and op-portunities for peer assessment of collaborative efforts (Palloff &amp; Pratt, 2009).</p><p>Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning</p><p>Students cannot be labeled as one size fi ts all. Each has a preferred learning style and different set of experiences. In the electronic classroom, students are located in different areas of the world, come from different cultures, and have different expectations. The electronic classroom enables them to display their talents differently than in the traditional classroom. Shy students are more comfortable responding without the visual effect of other students looking at them. Some students appreciate the opportunity to spend more time formulating their responses in an asynchronous dis-cussion. By varying the types of assignments, the e-teacher can accommodate the learning styles of students who prefer print, visual, or auditory interactions with the course con-tent. Careful construction of virtual teams enables students to share experiences and discover their talents in group activities. The electronic classroom enables students to interact with the content on t...</p></li></ul>