EDTECH 522 Reflection: Adult Online Teaching

Now that EDTECH 522 Online Teaching for Adult Learners is almost over students were asked to update their concept map of what online teaching is. Below is my updated concept map. It looks very different than my original concept map (available here). This map is simpler but contains what I think are more important concepts of teaching adult learners online. My original map was more about Knowles’ adult learning theory and online learning environments. I didn’t consider applying the community of inquiry model to online teaching. This is important because the instructor’s approach to course development will vary greatly depending on how they plan to develop cognitive, social, and teacher presence.  I also didn’t consider that learners at different stages of self-directed learning require different approaches from online teachers and different types of scaffolding.  I think I have captured those important elements in my updated concept map.

Adult online learning concept map

An online version of this image without grid lines is available here.

This course will have several impacts on my online teaching. I learned a lot about mechanisms/approaches to incorporate the community of inquiry model into online teaching. The Stavredes text contains excellent chapters on scaffolding strategies and ways to establish cognitive, teacher, and social presence. I will refer to these often in the future as I develop and modify my current online courses. Grow’s stages of self directed learning will also impact my future teaching. It is important to assess where your students are on this continuum as the teacher’s role changes based on stage. I really enjoyed developing the online module for this course. I wish I could use it in its current format in my current teaching but my institution doesn’t use Moodle. I will be able to use parts of it in what I teach. Finally, I enjoyed the discussion forums  in this course. Students underestimate the value of discussion forums. Sharing  and critiquing ideas is a powerful way to learn. My current online students don’t like to utilize discussion forums. They view it as busy work. I have tried to design the questions to be useful and based on application of knowledge not just regurgitation of knowledge; but to no avail. I think it takes a more meta-cognitively advanced student to understand the value of discussion forums.