Archive for the ‘Online distance learning’ Category
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New online courses set to start in January 2012 include Software as a Service and Computer Science 101, as well as primers on entrepreneurship. Be sure to check out Stanford’s iTunes U as well.
A couple of months back, we reported on how some IT professors at Stanford University were opening up their courses for the world to participate, with no tuition cost. This fall, courses on Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Introduction to Databases and Introduction to Machine Learning were launched, all delivered between October and December. (I have been participating in the AI course, it’s really extremely well presented and informative.)
Teaching online is increasingly an option for higher education instructors. Traditional institutions are expanding their reach by adding online versions of their existing programs and online universities continue to add new programs to their catalogs. And in some cases, teaching online is a requirement, as traditional faculty are encouraged or assigned to take their face-to-face courses online.
Online instructors can realize benefits from the virtual delivery of an academic course, but they also face a number of challenges. While they enjoy some of the same benefits that draw online students in terms of convenience and flexibility, online instructors must also master additional skills associated with the technology and administration required of a virtual learning environment.
Examining motivation in online distance learning environments: Complex, multifaceted and situation-dependent
Existing research into motivation in online environments has tended to use one of two approaches. The first adopts a trait-like model that views motivation as a relatively stable, personal characteristic of the learner. Research from this perspective has contributed to the notion that online learners are, on the whole, intrinsically motivated. The alternative view concentrates on the design of online learning environments to encourage optimal learner motivation. Neither approach acknowledges a contemporary view of motivation that emphasises the situated, mutually constitutive relationship of the learner and the learning environment. Using self-determination theory (SDT) as a framework, this paper explores the motivation to learn of preservice teachers in two online distance-learning contexts. In this study, learners were found to be not primarily intrinsically motivated. Instead, student motivation was found to be complex, multifaceted, and sensitive to situational conditions.