Definition of Online

I have a major problem with Rick’s (from Tomorrow’s Professor) statement: “Courses taught online can never be as good as courses taught by live teachers who actively engage students and motivate and inspire them to learn. On the other hand, good online courses are better than courses taught live by teachers who just lecture, and much better if the lectures are nonstop PowerPoint shows.”

Clearly he doesn’t know how to actively engage, motivate and inspire students online. At the University of Alaska Anchorage, we have many different kinds of online classes using a wide variety of technology and delivery methods depending on what best fits the content and learners. In the College of Education, most of our classes use Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing to meet with students each week online in a class session full of active and cooperative learning.

When people use “courses taught online” to describe what sounds like self-paced asynchronous correspondence classes, they simply sound uninformed.