Documentation:Introduction to Online Teaching/Introduction

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Introduction

Online teaching is not that different to teaching in a face-to-face environment. You as the instructor are still teaching students with different learning styles and developing a learning community. Online teaching simply uses different tools and approaches to reach the learning objectives.

Online learning, sometimes called eLearning, generally refers to computer-enhanced learning that makes use of Internet-mediated communications (nowadays, usually the Worldwide Web). While it is commonly associated with the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies, online learning is also used to refer to the professional field in which educators plan and design course materials, learning activities, approaches to assessment and teaching strategies that are appropriate for a virtual learning environment.

The social context of learning is crucial to the success of online teaching; and research has demonstrated that participation in learning communities enriches the learning experience and contributes to learner motivation and engagement. Teaching and learning in an online environment can offer a wider mix of interpersonal and cross-cultural encounters, over a shorter time span, and at lower cost, than can be offered by ‘traditional’ face-to-face learning environments – giving more learners more access to powerful intercultural international learning opportunities (Macfadyen, 2004)