Are Faculty Members Able To Build Good Online Courses? The Challenge of Technology

on November 17 | in Administrator's Perspective, Course Creation, E-Learning, Instructor's Perspective, MOOCs | by | with No Comments

Most instructors lack the expertise with software to build full-range online courses.  A faculty member is likely to have to spend considerable time and effort to learn how to design and program a good online course, since this is not usually part of his or her traditional job preparation.

Providing faculty members with training to get them up-to-speed may be time consuming and expensive to the institution involved, and may not fully succeed.  There is a big difference between using software to put schedules, assignments, syllabi, access to grades and some materials online using standard software available in many schools, and building a good online course.  It’s the difference between printing out schedules, assignments, etc. and writing a textbook.

As a result, instructors are finding it excessively time consuming to build good online courses.   It interferes with their other responsibilities.   Poor quality courses can be built more quickly.

This blog has presented previously a list of characteristics of good online courses.   The demand of combining software technology with student interactivity and course content is daunting.   It is in fact much higher than the requirements of writing a traditional textbook.  Yet most instructors haven’t even written traditional textbooks.   Many are not able to do so -– their mastery of the material and of written expression is not sufficient.  Hence, an institution is naive to expect the same faculty members to demonstrate the even higher competencies required to build good online courses.

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