Distance learning has become a vital consideration within today’s instructional realm, no matter whether focused upon academia, professional continuing development, or business and industry training opportunities. Now that the design and development of online learning environments has been the primary focus for well over the past decade, it is finally a realization that the instructional support that occurs within the online learning environment is also of vital importance. For this reason, a growing area of focus within academia is how to design professional academic communities of learning; specifically, designing these online communities through the vital aspects of interactivity, appropriate responsiveness by the instructor and the learners, and the potentials related to flexibility of learning opportunities so as to meet the needs of the learners. Further, an “unwritten” aspect of importance within these online communities of learning must also focus upon the professional identity of the instructor and of the learner, as well as the introduction and building of differing perspectives as relates to the course knowledge and information.
|Keywords:||Online Learning Environment, Distance Education, Course Design, Cognitive Scaffolding, Community of Learning, Learning Community, Interactivity, Responsiveness, Flexibility, Professional Identity, Perspective, Instructional Competence, Virtual Learning Expectations, Instruction, Instructional Design, Instructional Expectations, Learning, Competence, Online Learning, Learning, Virtual Learning Environments, Teaching|
Associate Professor, Instructional Technology, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA
Adjunct Instructor, School of Education, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA
Associate Professor, College of Business, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA
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