Draft Preface

This is a book about teaching and learning in the online environment. Since it?s inception as a text-based educational medium in the 1990s to today?s Web-based formats, online education in post-secondary has grown enormously. Presently there are more than 8,000,000 university students in more than 4,000 institutions world wide taking online courses. This rapid growth is expected to continue well into the future and become a fundamental educational medium.

The rapid expansion of online education has come with considerable growing pains. Despite considerable efforts, many faculty still have no idea what it is all about and how it works. They resist the notion that new educational technologies can provide educational quality similar to the face-to-face classroom setting. Many are not comfortable working with new technologies, especially those involving computers and the Internet, and fear becoming marginalized or even ?replaced?. Here we hope to address these fears and concerns by providing an easy starting place where educators can begin to realize the potential of online teaching and learning.

This book is unique because it provides practical guidance for faculty new to online teaching. In a lively and easy-to-follow manner we demonstrate some of the exciting opportunities offered by these new technologies and show you, step-by-step, how you can use the Internet to improve the educational quality of your teaching.

We begin with a brief discussion of the general principles of online education and their role in modern post-secondary education. From there you will learn all of the aspects of designing, creating, implementing, and teaching a course online. We also discuss some of the administrative issues that typically arise. Finally, we review the existing educational technologies that you might employ and illustrate effective online teaching by discussing best practices in the area shared by many experts.

This book is written for anyone who has an interest in online education, especially those relatively new to the field. Those with intermediate online experience will learn how to improve their courses in terms of content and quality. Experts will learn techniques and technologies for better course utility, student engagement and class efficiency.

Last modified: Tuesday, 25 October 2011, 3:31 PM