Teaching at a distance requires effective design, and intentional planning and organization (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015). As Simonson, Smaldino, and Zvacek (2015) express, many in education “think that the traditional systematic models of instructional design are not relevant to online teaching (p.128).
In planning the process itself, designers should consider retooling courses previously built in traditional education, revise classroom materials, plan interactive activities, plan group work, and prepare lessons prepared for technology issues (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015). Designers should research potential issues that are associated with the separation of instructor and students. This can be achieved by considering who the learners are, analyzing the abilities of the class, considering characteristics and interaction, and helping learners to understand the context of the learning experience (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015).
In discussing course design in the context of converting traditional face-to-face courses to distance-delivered courses, Ko and Rossen are allowing learners of instructional design to see these approaches at a level that is understood, appreciated, and also encourages them to critically consider effectiveness. The authors wish to stress that putting a class online does not mean to simply copy lectures and syllabi; rather, online courses require coherent and effective learning experiences, which requires purposeful design and development (Ko and Rossen, 2010). Through discussing conversions, the authors encourage designers to anticipate what they might do in a similar circumstance and how to think themselves out of a traditional mind frame.
Ko, S., & Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching online: A practical guide (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.