It has been two semesters since instructors were forced into emergency remote teaching, but have we fully transitioned from remote teaching into online learning? Emergency remote teaching is characterised as putting your course content online for students to access, whether they learn is not the primary focus (Schlesselman, 2020). The primary focus in March, 2020 was student access to course content. The fall semester should have brought the focus of learning closer, but it still may not be fully in the spotlight. This semester make sure learning takes center stage.
When a course is designed for online learning rather than remote teaching students can learn as good or even better than in face-to-face classes. The US Department of Education found that “Students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction” (2010). Is this not a great motivator to review course design and deliver methods? But the bottom line is, “What matters, in terms of learning effectiveness, is NOT the learning modality (elearning vs. classroom); it’s the learning methods that matter, including such factors as realistic practice, spaced repetitions, real-world contexts, and feedback” (Thalheimer, 2017).
There are teaching and Learning Centers in most institutions, which help you make that transition, or verify that you have already made the transition. For example, is there enough content to keep students engaged? Is the content accessible to all learners? Is there a community, which includes you? Are the objectives clearly explained, covered, and assessed? The list can go on and on (as you can see in this interesting eLearning manifesto), but don’t be intimidated and let that stop you from visiting your Teaching and Learning Center to have that first chat.