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"The Online Educator: Instructional Strategies for Effective Practice" icon

The Online Educator: Instructional Strategies for Effective Practice

Although many online instructors have varying degrees of classroom experience, limited experience with the online environment makes them novices in this teaching and learning context. This paper, which is aimed at the novice online educator, articulates a unified online learning framework that: describes the higher education online instructional environment in terms of student inputs, institutional influences, and student outcomes; describes the relationship between student inputs, instructional strategies, and instructional outputs; and provides instructional prescriptions to guide the practice of the online educator. Prescriptions are based on an authentic example of a research methods course taught at multiple virtual universities over a five year period. Future research includes broader application of this framework and gathering feedback on its efficacy from instructors with different experience levels.


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Tim Vatovec
Tim Vatovec (Faculty)
1 year ago
The article outlines a proposed 'unified online learning framework' which describes the institutional environment of an online learning course; provides the interactions between student inputs, institutional influences, and student outcomes, and provides instructional prescriptions that serve as scaffold to support novice online instructors. The framework delivers on some but not all of the aspects outlined above, providing a lens through which to consider online instructional approaches. The main theory supporting the framework is that an effective online instructor is able through effective interaction to engage with students at critical milestones throughout a course, which is a straightforward goal. The framework details the relationship between student inputs, interactions, and instructor outputs in an effective manner and provides appropriate prescriptions for assessing prior knowledge; the efficacy of an online environment and instructional content; learning styles; confusing content, and engagement. I anticipate utilizing more than one element of the framework in my course review and development.