Moving the Classroom Online!

Face to face, hybrid and online classroom types can all be beneficial platforms to transfer knowledge to a student.  They each have different opportunities and draw backs but provide learners an all but custom learning experience (Crawford, Smith, & Smith, 2008).  Through various reading, I will briefly explain the differences of the three classroom types and how students and teachers are affected by them.  I also point out what I believe would be a usefull teaching technique for each setting from this website: http://pedagogy.merlot.org/TeachingStrategies.html

In face to face settings especially in higher education (the learning context in focus), most of the learning comes in lecture form.  Teachers and instructors spend their time preparing the lectures to pass on pertinent information (Bates & Watson, 2008).  Assessments are completed using formal testing methods to display that student know the information.  For face to face classroom settings, the teach technique that works best are “lecture strategies” (Pedigogy, 2014).  This technique, when used properly, can transmit information appropriately.  The ability to explain the main point and back it up three or four examples gives the students tangible ways to understand the principle (Center for Teaching, 2006).

Hybrid classroom settings in higher education are useful to allow more classes to take to place when a campus has limited physical space.  Lectures might be more condensed as the instructor has only half the face to face time than in a traditional classroom setting.   The instructors also have to find new activities to present online.  Assessments can be done in the class and/or online.  Though formal tests are harder to prove that the student actually knows the information (Bates & Watson, 2008).  Team-Based learning can be a useful strategy for hybrid courses (Pedigogy, 2014).  This strategy can allow students to learn through lectures in a classroom setting and then do out of class work together through web-based applications.  This allows the group of students to learn from each other (Michaelsen & Sweet, 2008).

All online courses allow for the students to learn the materials at their own pace on their own time.  Online learning allows for more educational opportunities though it provides challenges for the instructors.  There are no formal lecture so the instructors spend the time find learning materials for the students to read and interact with.  There are more opportunities for student to student interaction through forums and other web based activities. Instead of exams and tests, student assessment is performed by evaluating writings, postings, quality of peer to peer interaction and other methods (Bates & Watson, 2008).  Online learning communities can be a good way to facilitate online learning (Pedigogy, 2014).  Learning communities can be comprised of students all focused on one subject area.  The students can work on projects, assignments and other activities together to learn common interest material.  The students can bounce ideas off each other, critique other students work and help tutor other students as needed.

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With my learning activity, communities of practice among student union student employees, I’ll be using an all online classroom approach.  As mentioned, the “learning community” teaching technique would work well in this learning activity.  It will allow for the student within the various communities of practice to learn and perfect their discipline.  The communities can help each other through current issues, show each other new articles or other readings and critique work performed by other.  The all online classroom setting allows for long term collaboration and learning amongst the community’s members as well.

With all that in mind where will the next classroom setting be?  Could a hybrid system work that has students in a physical classroom a third of the time or even a quarter?  Will there be online classes that are hosted at the same time every week and students video conference in?  I think the classroom settings that exist allow for a type of education that could fit almost anyone and any learner type and future ones will only expand it more.

For more information about online learning communities and blending those with traditional classrooms please visit this link: http://bit.ly/1byanyI

References

Bates, C., & Watson, M. (2008). Re-learning teaching techniques to be effective in hybrid and online courses. The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 13(1), 38-44.

Center for Teaching, L. A. (2006). Strategies for Improving Comprehension of Lectures. In S. O. University (Ed.).

Crawford, C. M., Smith, R. A., & Smith, M. S. (2008). Course student satisfaction results: Differentiation between face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments. CEDER Yearbook, 135-149.

Michaelsen, L., & Sweet, M. (2008). Team-Based Learning. Advocare, June.

Pedigogy, M. (2014). Merlot Pedagogy. Teaching Strategies. from http://pedagogy.merlot.org/TeachingStrategies.html

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By Kyle Zive

3 comments on “Moving the Classroom Online!

  1. Kyle,
    I see the wonderful logic of self-paced student activity, but I also wonder about those students that have not learned to be disciplined enough to walk to learning schedules that are imposed on a class. This is a new experience for them. Sometimes, that alone gives students much room to fail too. I do believe the group and group tasks do make accountability easier. I see the introduction of online education to newest students the biggest challenge to both the student and the teacher. Once the good habits have been established great strides in learning can really be made.

  2. Kyle,
    As to where we are going…I can see, if it doesn’t already exist, which I think it does, a class that meets virtually Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and then face-to-face Tuesday, Thursday. Obviously the schedule varies but my point is that I think that the majority of traditional classrooms will all be of the hybrid model before long.

  3. Kyle,
    I think all classes will eventually a combination of both face-to-face and hybrid. Personally, I think it is a great combination. Still give the comfort of face-to-face interaction without the daily or weekly commitment.

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