Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Online Education - An Inside Look at Distance Teaching

As distance learning courses continue to become more prevalent, the demand for instructors who can master the intricacies of distance teaching is also becoming more common.

One of the most common types of distance learning courses is e learning courses, or online courses. In these courses, all the information is provided to students online. While this may sound simple, it invites several problems, the most prevalent of which is miscommunication. Because all the course information is posted online, it means that there is no opportunity for spoken instruction or clarification, only text. This aspect of distance teaching is difficult for many instructors because you have to be able to write instructions and course material that can only be interpreted the way you intended when you wrote it. There is nothing more discouraging for a student or teacher than having an assignment be misconstrued. Because of this aspect of e learning courses, many teachers get frustrated and rely only on the traditional classroom to make a living.

Email communication can also be a source of irritation when administering e learning courses. For students, a teacher who doesn't promptly respond to email can affect their performance and attitude toward the class. Many teachers also have difficulty with emails from students that are unclear and, at times, may sound rude. The necessity to communicate through email always creates some unique problems, especially in an educational setting.

Another distance teaching format that presents some challenges is televised classes or Live Interactive Television. Because there may not be any actual students in a room to give visual clues to the teacher, teachers may feel like they are speaking to a brick wall. Teachers commonly rely on the reactions of students to determine if they need to clarify a point or if someone has something to add, or if students just plain disagree with what was said. Although students taking Live Interactive Television courses can respond, students watching televised courses may not be able to watch a lesson for several days after it was recorded. This delay means they cannot ask questions and must rely on email or calling a teacher for clarification, which is much more difficult than simply raising your hand in class and quickly reviewing the material or instructions.

For the most part, aspiring teachers probably do not envision themselves getting involved in distance teaching, but as distance learning becomes more popular, there will continue to be an increase in the demand for distance teaching positions.

Leave a reply