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Myths and Realities of Teaching Online Hidden

Section 1

Myths and Realities of Teaching Online

Learn what it’s really like to teach online.

Online courses offer instructors the opportunity to explore new and exciting ways of teaching.

Myth 1: Since I don't need to be in course 3 hours per week, teaching online will save time.

Reality: Teaching an online course the first time can take up to 40 percent more time than teaching a face-to-face course. Subsequent offerings take less time, but on average teaching a course online will take as much time as teaching face-to-face.


Myth 2: Converting a traditional face-to-face course to an online course is relatively easy and it does not take much time.

Reality: Online courses are not simply face-to-face course conversions. It requires a significant amount of time, thought, and creativity to transform face-to-face content into a meaningful online learning experience for students.


Myth 3: To create an online version of my course, I only need to record my lectures and upload them online.

Reality: To be successful, an online course will consist of more than video lectures. Video lectures are one part of the course content that contributes to learning along with conjunction with online quizzes, discussion forums, wiki activities, blog/journal posts, guided lessons, and much more.


Myth 4: I don't know HTML (or how to create Web pages), so I can never teach online.

Reality: The campus Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) has instructional designers who will work with you to design and develop your online course. Organizing your course online is simple and user friendly these days with learning management systems like Moodle or Compass 2g. Also, you can draw upon the expertise of the academic technology staff at ATLAS as well as numerous online resources to help you maintain and teach your course.


Myth 5: I am a charismatic instructor and I connect personally with each student, so I would not be successful in the online environment. My face-to-face classroom is an interactive environment, and it won't translate well to an online platform.

Reality: Good online courses can be more interactive than face-to-face courses and allow for more shy students, and second language students, to participate more frequently than they would otherwise. According to LAS Online course evaluations, 19% of students reported their instructor was more available to them than in their face-to-face courses, and 16% reported that their fellow classmates were more available than in face-to-face courses (ATLAS Statistics Consulting Group, data gathered between Jul 2014 - May 2015). Also, there are numerous ways to bring warmth and charisma to online courses. For instance, instructors can use different voice intonations, facial expressions, or personal stories. All these methods, which instructors usually rely on in the face-to-face classroom, can be easily transferred to online courses.


Myth 6: Students in an online course do not learn as much as students in a face-to-face course.

Reality: The research confirms that it's about the same, and our LAS Online course evaluations show that students can learn more in an online course when the online course uses collaborative learning approaches, critical thinking prompts, and discussion boards.


Myth 7: Once I develop my online course, my work is done. In the future, I don't have to update or revise my course content or activities.

Reality: A great online course requires ongoing maintenance, improvements, and adjustments to meet the learning needs of current students.