Benefits of Online Teaching for Traditional Classroom Pedagogy

Article: The Benefits of Online Teaching for Traditional Classroom Pedagogy: A Case Study for Improving Face-to-Face Instruction

Publication: Journal of Online Teaching

Link: http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/stone_0911.htm

 This case study explores the implications of taking lessons learned from the online course design process back to the traditional face-to-face classroom experience. The author, having refined her course content for the online environment, prioritized the information presented to students to minimize confusion during lectures. The end result was more time in class for student discussion and extra examples. Of most interest was how useful the author found the focusing of the content into modules for ensuring that students could focus on what was a priority for them to learn. Here are a few excerpts:

“This course was designed to be delivered in weekly modules. Each weekly module began with an overview. This overview was a one page summary that contained the module’s description, objectives, lecture topic, the assigned homework, and the assigned discussion topic. ……

Although the scope of the course wasn’t condensed from the traditional classroom version for online presentation, the material within each weekly module was reassessed for the most important concepts and applications the students needed to know. …

Students had the advantage of knowing exactly what each module would cover, and could check off whether they could demonstrate an understanding of each of the goals as they moved through the model. …”

 

The author describes ten conclusions from this experience. Here are three of those that are most pertinent for student learning:

1) Improved ability to know what material is “essential” to the students’ understanding and learning. A focused delivery of traditional pedagogy minimizes student confusion and misunderstandings and leaves time for additional activities that can be used to enhance student learning.

2) Improved ability to logically and consistently organize and deliver course material. The use of weekly modules containing an overview that summarizes the lecture topic and objectives is helpful to both the instructor and the student in organizing course material.

4) Improved ability to create multiple strategies for the submission of student work and clarification of misunderstandings. The experience of teaching online enables instructors to devise varied strategies for the submission of course work, and provides additional arenas for the instructor to clarify misunderstandings in a forum in which all students can participate.