Chapter 4: Methods of teaching with an online focus

Purpose of the chapter

At the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  1. Describe key approaches to the design of online teaching and learning.
  2. Analyse each model in terms of its value for teaching in a digital age.
  3. Decide which model or combination of models will fit best with your own teaching.
  4. Use the model as a basis for designing your own teaching.

What is covered in this chapter

Also in this chapter you will find the following activities:

  • Activity 4.2 Moving the classroom model online
  • Activity 4.3 Using the ADDIE model
  • Activity 4.4 Evaluating online collaborative learning models
  • Activity 4.5 Thinking about competency-based education?
  • Activity 4.6 Making communities of practice work
  • Activity 4.7 Taking risks with ‘agile’ design
  • Activity 4.8 Making choices

Key Takeaways

1. Traditional classroom teaching, and especially transmissive lectures, were designed for another age. Although lectures have served us well, we are now in a different age that requires different methods.

2. The key shift is towards greater emphasis on skills, particularly knowledge management, and less on memorising content. We need design models for teaching and learning that lead to the development of the skills needed in a digital age.

3. There is no one ‘best’ design model for all circumstances. The choice of design model needs to take account of the context in which it will be applied, but nevertheless, some design models are better than others for developing the knowledge and skills needed in a digital age. For the contexts with which I’m most associated, online collaborative learning, experiential learning and agile design best meet my criteria.

4. Design models in general are not dependent on a particular mode of delivery; they can operate in most cases as well online as in class.

5. In an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, we need design models for teaching that are light and nimble.


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