Doctoral Programs

Learning Online

Online Teaching Methods for Doctorates

Online teaching and learning can be greatly beneficial to students if quality is assured by schools offering online degree programs. A research paper entitled “Teaching at an Internet Distance,” says teaching can be done with high quality if new approaches are utilized which compensate for the limitations of technology and if professors make the effort to create and maintain the human touch of attentiveness to their students. Although online teaching of high quality is time and labor intensive as it requires more time and money, many schools are investing in online education programs because of its high demand worldwide.

Teaching methods vary from school to school. Efforts are now being made to utilize instructional technology like real-time two-way videoconferencing to simulate the traditional classroom. But though this is seen to succeed, academic experts highly recommend a shift from the traditional teaching structure. New online teaching methods that work well now are the text-based computer mediated communication (CMC) for courses that are discussed in a classroom or seminar setting and the interactive type that uses materials with graphics for courses normally lectured in a classroom. CMC or sometimes referred to as computer-mediated instruction (CMI) is an interactive exchange of texts in learning networks composed of professors and students communicating with each other in real time or offline. Examples of these are online discussion groups or chatrooms and the electronic mail (email). The CMC or CMI can also mean distance education or correspondence coursework that uses textual, videotape or CD materials transferred by mail or courses taught over the television or through videoconference.

There are various modes in online teaching and learning. They are the supplemental or adjunct, mixed and totally online. In the supplemental mode, online teaching is only an additional part of the face-to-face classroom education. In the mixed mode, the teacher and his students meet only occasionally for follow-up discussion as majority of the teaching and learning are done on the Internet. In the wholly online setting, all work and mentoring are done via the Internet employing various technologies.

High quality online teaching can be achieved because of a smaller number of students compared to a classroom setting. But of course, teachers are encouraged to provide a motivational human touch so students can feel a sense of belongingness in the learning community and gain motivation from the attention given by their professors. Quality teaching can also be done if faculty members take hold of developed materials. The Intellectual Property Subcommittee Report on Courseware Development and Distribution of the University of Illinois suggests that written agreement between the courseware creator and school administration should be made prior to the start of any work. An evaluation of the learning effectiveness of students is another good way to check quality teaching. It is, therefore, crucial that teachers and students develop a positive relationship during the course of the study to ensure quality teaching and learning. PhD students must take it upon themselves to follow-up their researches and discussions with their teachers once their schedule permits so as to keep up with the requirements of their chosen degree. Teachers, on the other hand, should also properly guide their students, exert more patience when possible and encourage them to be diligent in their coursework and researches.

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