Online learning and teaching is a phenomenal experience and opportunity when instructed and designed properly. An Online course is considered “online” when at least 80% of the course is completed online. There are various models involved in online teaching. The first form of online education is fully online. This is when virtually all of the content is delivered online and there are generally no meetings conducted in-person. Many classes these days are considered hybrid online courses. This is when online and on campus in the classroom are combined. Majority of the course is still online and probably includes online discussion boards, online assignment submissions, online tests, etc. The classroom or face-to-face time is used for instruction and possibly a more in-depth chance to answer a few questions. Generally, a hybrid course has 30-79% of its class online. The web-facilitated form of online teaching is when a minimal amount, usually 1-29%, of the classroom materials is online for students to view. This would most likely include a web page for the students to access the syllabus and assignments, as well as some additional reading. This would typically be considered a face-to-face class that is web-facilitated.
All of these models have positive and negative aspects. A fully online course can be very beneficial for someone who needs a more flexible schedule and is good and self-teaching, while someone who is not technologically savvy may find an online course frustrating and non conducive to their learning styles. While online teaching and learning models continue to be explored and upgraded, I believe that the digital divide is still quite large. There are still many sections to be addressed and conquered. However, I believe that online education is the way of the future.
Allen, I. & Seaman, J. (2011) Going the distance: Online education in the United States 2011. Retrieved from http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/goingthedistance.pdf