Given such a tumultuous sea, I advocate that the ship’s compass heading must be: ‘Good teaching is good teaching, be it in a Face-to-Face (F2F) or online environment’. Further, the ease with which the vessel known as ‘Effective Online Learning’ negotiates the contentious waves will be consonant with the ability of its crew of educators to morph good teaching practices to the online learning environment. And finally, that such morphing must occur within an easily understood framework, supported by recognised dimensions of effective online learning and teaching (Levin et al., 2001).
Rationale for Morphing
Education has consistently built upon what is known, both in its research and practice. What is not reflected however, is the acknowledgement that the transition to the online learning environment by most teachers will depend on the following critical factors:
- Teachers must have a solid understanding of the nature and function of the tools available, and
- Administrators must recognise and support teachers who build upon their successful classroom practices, be they expository or discovery driven.
Though the latter approach is preferred, it must be acknowledged that there is a place for both pedagogies. The merits of these positions are derived from long standing successful F2F practices which reflect solid empirical evidence related to the nature of learning.
What is worrisome is the current tendency to dismiss the early ventures of teachers into the online platform as inappropriate because such ventures tend to focus more on the content rather than the use of content. This may be true, but it is by building upon what one knows that one is able to venture more easily into the unknown.