Teacher and student perceptions of online instructional methodology in higher education: An explanatory mixed-method study
This mixed method Explanatory study examined the thoughts and beliefs of teachers and students at Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) involved in online teaching and learning. Three research questions addressing faculty perceptions about their online teaching at SLU, effective teaching methods or strategies employed by online faculty at SLU, and the student perceptions about online teaching at SLU were addressed. There were two sequences of data collection: the first consisted of two surveys sent to online teachers and another to students enrolled in online courses in three academic colleges. The second sequence of interviews with nine experienced online teachers provided a fourth data source. Quantitative analysis of survey data was conducted and qualitative analysis of the interviews was accomplished. Survey findings revealed that faculty and students agreed that giving effective feedback, and providing clearly stated guidelines were important. The students said providing more clearly stated guidelines were among the things that faculty could have done more of to assist their online learning. Additional survey results and interviews with nine experienced online teachers revealed what methods and strategies were employed by online teachers at SLU within and across disciplines to build online learning communities. Findings indicated that most technical skills were not considered critical for effective online teaching; however facilitation skills such as giving effective feedback and engaging the online learner were the most critical. There was general agreement among online teachers that online teaching and face-to-face teaching were very different. Teachers who were interviewed reported that they used e-mail as the prime source of one-to-one communication with learners.
0710: Educational software