Learning in the Online Virtual World
I love being a teacher in the virtual world–of course, I also really appreciated being able to take some of my university courses by distance education, so it’s no surprise that I wanted to be a leader in this area.
The great thing about online learning is that the learner has so many options. For example, at Credenda Virtual High School & College students have a learning program that very closely resembles a traditional classroom. My library technician students “come to class” every week where they not only listen to me–but participate in discussions and interact with their peers.
A lot of my teaching strategies are a result of the research I did while writing my Masters thesis at the University of Regina. My topic was the preferred modes of communication in online education and training. The key thing my research indicated was the importance online students gave to having a strong relationship with their instructors. While my students were always my priority, now I go that extra mile to make sure everyone feels comfortable talking to me, discussing their concerns and asking for help.
This past weekend I spoke in Saskatoon at the PEN SK [Para Educators Network of Saskatchewan] to share our programs with school staff from around the province. In fact, we have online training available for all school paraprofessionals from Business Administration and Office Administration, through a full range of Early Learning & Childcare along with Teaching Assistant, to a Library Training Certificate and Library & Information Technology Diploma.
While preparing my presentation I pulled together a slideshare that shows how and why online learning is superior to face-to-face learning in many ways, by examining its ability to suit different learner styles. Here’s the slideshare!