Researchers have focused on online education for decades, including online teaching and learning. Quality online learning and online teaching are the subject of several studies, ideas, models, standards, and evaluation criteria. As a result of extensive research, we know that effective online learning results from rigorous instructional design and planning. The quality of education is influenced by the design process and thorough consideration of distinct design considerations. Most of the time, emergency shifts will lack this methodical planning stage.
Research on online learning has been summarised in the book Learning Online: What Research Tells Us About Whether, When, and How.
The intricacy of the design and decision-making process is highlighted by the authors’ identification of nine dimensions, each of which has countless choices. Mode, pace, student-instructor ratio; pedagogy; instructor role online; student role online; online communication synchronicity; the part of online exams; source of feedback are the nine dimensions (see “Online learning design options”).
There are choices in each of these dimensions. That’s because some options are better than others. For example, the strategies you can use will be severely restricted if you make decisions about your class size. In the literature, for example, practice and feedback are well established. Still, it becomes increasingly difficult to apply this as class size increases until it is just not practicable for an instructor to provide excellent feedback. Regarding synchronicity, what works best for your students will depend on their traits and needs (adult learners require more flexibility, so asynchronous is usually best, perhaps with optional synchronous sessions, whereas younger learners benefit from the structure of required synchronous sessions).
Study on student-content, student-student, and student-instructor interactions are one of the more extensive online learning research bodies. When all three types of interaction are present and utilized well, the results suggest that students learn more. When it comes to online learning, it’s crucial to think about how you will enable different types of interactions that are critical to a successful learning experience. Instead of focusing solely on information transmission, this approach considers learning a social and cognitive activity.
Effective online learning seeks to be a learning community that helps learners not only in terms of instruction but also in terms of co-curricular interaction and other social supports. Consider how much infrastructure exists around face-to-face education to promote student success: library resources, housing, career services, health services, and so on. Because lecturing is effective, face-to-face education is a failure. Tutors, mentors, and other students are part of an educational ecosystem that includes official, informal, and social learning opportunities. Investing in an ecosystem of learner support takes time to find and establish, which is necessary for effective online education. Simple online material delivery can be quick and inexpensive compared to other possibilities, but to confuse that with substantial online education is to confuse lectures with the entirety of residential education, and the two are mutually exclusive concepts.