OTL Newsletter

2009 (01) February »

It’s Worth Reading: Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Author: Annette Feravich

Teaching courses online has created a paradigm shift from structured learning of content to resource-based learning, whereby instructors guide students in acquiring strategies to manage information efficiently and effectively.  The authors of this book focus on current research and proven strategies that help ensure successful online learning and teaching.


Effective online learning and teaching means that students have more control and responsibility over their own learning.  Because online learning is not as simple as moving your in-class materials to a Blackboard course, attention to goals and objectives, planning, and appraisal is essential.  Using the ten steps to success listed in the book, instructors monitor their goals and determine action items that help ensure desired learning outcomes.  Additionally, suggestions for online sessions and student activities help with delivery of course material.  Emphasis is on enriching the student learning experience by using technology and effective communication strategies, while addressing obvious disadvantage of delivering course material without the benefit of face face-to-face communication.

These authors acknowledge that online teaching requires specific skill sets, such as knowledge of technology, online-based activities, and a variety of methods for interacting with students.  Suggestions for collaboration, creating online communities, and transforming ordinary teaching materials for online use, make this book essential for any instructor interested in moving their course online.

Bach, S., Haynes, P., and Smith, J. L. (2006). Online learning and teaching in higher education. Berkshire: McGraw Hill.

Annette Feravich, MA
Instructional Consultant, Office for Teaching & Learning
(313) 577-0250

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