My personal philosophy of teaching and learning follows constructivism. The University of Sydney describes constructivism as, “Humans construct knowledge and meaning from their experiences.” I agree, but also believe learning relies heavily on the merits of both students and professors.
I am drawn to online education because of the flexibility, efficiency and potential of this new field. Online education allows distance learners opportunities for education, can be completed at the learners’ pace, and drives innovation for educational technologies. A report on innovation in education from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) lists five models of supports from education technology, “Educational gaming, online laboratories, technology-enabled collaboration, real-time formative assessment and technological support for skills-based curricula.” These are excellent examples of the many wonderful possibilities for online courses, but their value rests on the merit of the course design.
Online education has great potential, but also provides many challenges for instructors. To design a successful class there must be meaningful lessons. These lessons must provide opportunities for students to create knowledge on their own, and include a system of assessment. Accountability is tricky with physical separation between students and the instructor, which is why finding a way to record student progress is vital. Online courses should have clear goals and instructions. The goal is for students to meet the learning objectives not just jump through hoops.
I have found that my philosophy changes the more I learn, which leads to my final educational caveat. To have merit as an instructor, continued learning is key. There is so much change in education it is crucial to keep honing your skills and to make data driven decisions.
Constructivism. (2017, August 7). Retrieved December 03, 2017, from http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/learning_teaching/ict/theory/constructivism.shtml
OECD (2016), Innovating Education and Educating for Innovation: The Power of Digital Technologies and Skills, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264265097-en