Elemental analysis of the online learning experience

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Citation of Original Publication

Carmody, Kevin; Berge, Zane; Elemental analysis of the online learning experience; International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology(IJEDICT), 2005, Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp. 108-119; http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/viewarticle.php?id=103&layout=html


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The following discussion will compare four contemporary methods of online teaching and learning: 1) student-centered, 2) subject-centered, 3) teacher-centered, and 4) teaching-centered. This paper argues that the most effective methods are those that engage six dimensions of human existence: physical, social, emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual. However there is no golden rule or single instructional model that will guarantee effective teaching or learning in every situation. Guidelines should be chosen based on how well they meet the needs of the discipline being studied, the students involved, and the ability of the instructor. What engages one class may disengage the next. Learning, whether online or not, is a personal process. With an understanding of the personal nature of the learning interaction, the most effective teaching methods are those that engage individuals in an intimate way. The objective of this paper is to present and define four contemporary teaching models, their expressed or applied engagement of the dimensions listed above in the online environment and provide foundational concepts which may serve as starting points in the evaluation of one’s own methods, philosophy, and practice.