Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Cyber-Teaching Consideration

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Cyber-Teaching Consideration

Article excerpt

With all the buzz about online degree programs, it's important to remember it's still an evolving enterprise. An online program requires long-term commitments of resources and is not a "cash cow," say those engaged in the field over the years. As academics and university leaders pursue putting degree programs online, these veterans offer some tips.

Not every subject can be taught online. Don't think you can put every course online, despite the commercials that would have you thinking that. For example, Oregon State University offers a chemistry degree online. Its lower-level chemistry lab courses offer a kind of 'virtual' lab where students can follow along, says Oregon State spokesman David Stauth. Recognizing that not every home comes equipped with a chemistry lab, the school requires students in advanced courses come to campus for a weekend.

Online is not for everyone - student or teacher. Boring teachers are boring teachers, whether in class and online. Teachers need to "buy-in" in order for online education to work. Getting lesson plans adapted to an online teaching platform and then customizing the online experience to fit the teacher's style requires time and buy-in, says Warren Ashley, director of online learning at California State University-Dominguez Hills. …

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