I am motivated to learn how to teach online in part because of the trends in online education reported by Allen and Seeman (2013) in Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States. They reported that online education is a strategic priority for almost 70% of academic institutions, increasingly students are taking online courses (32% have taken one course online), and more academic leaders believe that online learning outcomes are “just as good” or “better” (75%) than face-to-face.
But, I was concerned to read that academic leaders also report perceptions of more time and faculty effort involved in teaching online, and that faculty acceptance of online education has dropped (30%). The perception of quality in online education is improving and at the same time perception of online teaching workload is increasing. Which makes sense, more work is usually involved for higher quality, but faculty acceptance of online teaching is decreasing (30% in 2012, 33.5% in 2007 is highest). I think this may indicate that faculty need expert instruction and ongoing supports (e.g., EFOT types of courses, boosters, and in-house instructional design and implementation assistance) to teach online effectively and efficiently.
To address this concern I plan to learn as much as possible from the EFOT course, experts and resources; work with the SN instructional designer; and take advantage of other supports and developmental opportunities on a regular basis. I also think it is important to communicate with other faculty and administration about what is involved in online education and what is needed to do it well.
I think I will be able to learn how to teach online effectively and efficiently by using expert resources, building on my years of experience in teaching, and using my skills in engaging students in new ways. Lots of work, but worth it!