As with traditional face-to-face courses, online courses created using learner-centered and inclusive design principles can offer the best chance for facilitating effective learning for all students. In such courses, there is close alignment between the course content, activities, and assessment with the appropriate learning objectives. Designing an effective online course is much more involved than simply replicating a traditional course in an online setting. Online courses require extensive consideration with regards to communication, content organization, content sequencing, and instructions. Instructional Technology Services here at TAMU can offer more in depth support of online course design.
Blended and Flipped Learning
Blended courses seek to combine the advantages of online learning and traditional face-to-face learning. These hybrid courses tend to have a mixture of face-to-face meeting times as well as online course content. Blended/hybrid approaches are also commonly used for flipped instruction, which is an approach that rethinks the use of class time. Students go through content on their own before class and class time is then used to build on the concepts students learned on their own. While flipped instruction often has an online component, it is not required and instructors can effectively flip a course without going online.
Technology and Instruction
Instructors have a wide array of technology tools they can implement in the classroom to help facilitate student learning and engagement. These tools can range from student response clickers to multimedia to Web 2.0 tools. There are also many mobile device apps that can be used to enhance instruction. Appropriate digital games are also being used to support learning in the classroom. Regardless of the technology tool used, it is important to keep in mind that their use should always align with the appropriate learning objectives. Any educational technology use should be carefully planned and implemented in order to most effectively facilitate student learning.