Online Teaching – Now and the Future Essay

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Online Teaching – Now and the Future

Online teaching is defined as any educational activity that requires a student to complete some learning or assessment activity via a personal computer and a connection to a network (Murdoch University Academic Council 1999). This network connection is usually to the Internet (Demirdjian 2002). It is a seen by the Murdoch University Academic Council as a teaching and learning technology, not a method of study (2002), but this depends on how it is to be used and by whom. For example, distance education student using online teaching would be more inclined to see it as a study method than a QUT student who uses online teaching to download and print lecture notes to attend a lecture on campus.

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Another benefit arising from this is that students are able to study where they want to study; there is no need to make their way to a campus. Also students are able to access their lessons more than once. While a lecture is given once, online materials can be accessed at any time (Demirdjian 2002). Financial benefits arise for students from the lessened need for high fees, housing away from home and travel costs such as fuel and parking at campuses (Demirdjian 2002). Some of these benefits are offset by the increased need for a personal computer to be purchased, Internet access at home, paper and print cartridges. Despite these benefits, there are also some serious detriments to use of online teaching. There is possible dehumanisation from continued use of online teaching meaning that the repetitive nature of connecting to the Internet to do work can lead to people being seen more as automatons than people. The lack of face-to-face contact that occurs with the increase in users of online teaching can be seen as leading to a deficiency of in-group experiences (Demirdjian 2002). Other drawbacks of online teaching relate directly to the technological aspects and lack of contact. Teachers cannot rely on classroom theatrics to get ideas across to students, sometimes the curriculum needed cannot be found or used online and computer crashes can prevent students from accessing

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