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Challenges of Online Courses and Possible Solutions

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Roya Azimzadeh

on 13 April 2014

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Transcript of Challenges of Online Courses and Possible Solutions

Challenges of Online Courses and Possible Solutions
Roya Azimzadeh
Northcentral University
July 2013

Online Course Challenges & Possible Solutions
How to Manage the Challenges associated with Online Education
What About the Learners with Special Needs?
Pedagogical Theories:
Social Learning (Observational Learning) Proposed by Albert Bandura
E-Learning Application:
Learners may socially construct knowledge and share experiences in form of messaging, modeling, and online collaborations (Hill, Song, & West, 2009)

Online Course Challenges & Possible Solutions
Pedagogical Theories:
Emergent Learning:
"A learning ecology in which agents and system co-evolve" (Williams, Karousou, & MacKness, 2011, p. 52, adopted from Lancaster University)
E-Learning Application:
An active learning network where knowledge is constructed and co-constructed by its participants (Williams, Karousou, & MacKness, 2011)

Pedagogical Theories &
E-Learning Applications
Online Course Challenges & possible Solutions

Interaction, connectivity, and collaboration within social networking are effective, flexible, and innovative methods to foster students' involvement in their learning process and help them learn to their fullest potentials
Both emergent and prescriptive learning practices should be incorporated into an online course curriculum to achieve a productive learning environment and outcome
When designing an online course, electronic learning challenges such as accessibility and participants' characteristics should be considered so that everyone can benefit from the course
Online Course Challenges & Possible Solutions
Pedagogical Theories
Prescriptive Learning:
Well-established, Peer-reviewed & Validated knowledge and principles (formal education)
(Williams, Karousou, & MacKness, 2011, p. 44)
Bottom line: Both emergent and prescriptive approaches are essential for providing a quality education as long as there is a balance between openness and constraints.
Would it be possible to design an online course curriculum containing both prescriptive and emergent learning activities?
Yes, the above mentioned curriculum will have the following characteristics:
Quality assurance (accredited education)
A network of self-organized learners who contribute in constructing knowledge and collaborative learning
Inclusive, flexible, and adaptable learning environment
Reasonable constraints managed by tutors to achieve specific course objectives and positive outcomes (i.e. assessments and interventions related to online interactions). (Williams, Karousou, & MacKness, 2011)
The content of the course should be clear and easy to access
Color blind : we should avoid colors such as red and green for emphasis
Epileptic: flashing text can cause seizures
Physically challenged: learners should not have to click multiple times to find a file (McCormick, 2012)
excessive linking can cause confusion for the learners while not knowing what to do with the extra information
Access to Technology:
We should avoid using videos and images that require high-speed internet or downloading large files (Azer & El-Sherbini, 2011).

Cultural Challenges
Language Solution:
Creating content using a clear language (not idioms or confusing expressions) and providing translation of the course materials are some of the possible solutions to help students with diverse cultural backgrounds (Azer & El-Sherbini, 2011).

Azer, M. A., & El-Sherbini, A. M. (2011). Cultural challenges in developing e-learning content. International Journal Of Emerging Technologies In Learning, 6(1), 11-14. doi:10.3991/ijet.v6i1.1467

Hill, J. R., Song, L., & West, R. E. (2009). Social learning theory and web-based learning environments: A review of research and discussion of implications. American Journal Of Distance Education, 23(2), 88-103. doi:10.1080/08923640902857713

McCormick, K. (2012). Best practices in instructional design. [PowerPoint Slides].

Williams, R., Karousou, R., & Mackness, J. (2011). Emergent learning and learning ecologies in Web 2.0. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/883

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