On the Fence? Five Advantages to Teaching Online
Should I teach online? This is a question many experienced classroom instructors find themselves asking as student demand for online courses continues to grow. Several factors can influence this decision, such as level of institutional support, availability of training resources, and – most important – one’s willingness start at the bottom of the learning curve with a toolkit of online technologies and new instructional approaches that differ from traditional learning pedagogies.
But for interested candidates willing to make the commitment, the benefits to teaching online are worth the investment. If you are an instructor still on the proverbial fence, here are five good reasons to consider making the switch.
- Creates more opportunity for interaction. Online learning has the benefit of allowing instructors to focus on individual interactions with students. The instructor acts like a party planner, working beforehand to organize an engaging learning experience for students, opening up more time during the course for direct interaction.
- Reinforces teaching essentials. During the design and development of an online course, subject matter experts consider the implications of learning goals objectives, assessment, instructional materials, activities, and interactions. This clarity and organization allows faculty to focus on content and students to focus on learning.
- Brings in your personality. The online space allows for the inclusion of innovative technologies like video conferencing, animation and storyboarding, blogs and social media, games and global perspectives. No longer confined to classroom and lecture, faculty are free to be creative with new learning experiences.
- Opens new possibilities for assessment. Online instruction is assisted by technologies that shift some of the burden of assessment from faculty. Formative assessments and assessments of factual understanding can be automated, allowing more time for meaningful interactions.
- Integrates campus resources. Academic and student support services can be integrated right into the design of the online course. Student success and career services, library aid and research, technology help, and community events are now only a click away, giving instructors limitless options for diverse and enriching learning activities.
For classroom instructors interested in learning more about online teaching, UMKC Online offers a series of monthly training and certification courses that can help get you started. Visit our Training Calendar to find a workshop that’s right for you.