???The Future of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Survey Says???
Considering the fact that I am enrolled in an online educational course I found it prudent to seek out a research article studying online learning. It is common knowledge to any student in America, or the world for that matter, that distance education has exploded almost uncontrollably and is continuing to do so at a remarkable pace. So, what makes a distance education course good While reviewing the mass of articles about distance education I first had to define my search to narrow the various distance educational articles available through Liberty??™s library database. Having done that, I used the key words online teaching and I finally focused my attention to one article by Kyong-Jee Kim and Curtis J. Bonk, ???The Future of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Survey Says??? printed in Educase Quarterly. This well designed, crafted, and carried out research study demonstrates that higher education is going online and educators need to develop new skills to continue provided exceptional education. Interestingly enough the two authors live states apart from each other, making collegial research between the two difficult if not impossible without the use of distance technology.
The authors, Kyong-Jee Kim and Curtis J. Bonk, began their research with a the research question they wanted to answer, summarized as, what is the future of online education and what needs to be done to promote its success (Kyong-Jee & Bonk, 2006)
Kyong-Jee & Bonk used a descriptive research method, specifically a survey. An online questionnaire was sent electronically to 12,000 instructors and administrators in post secondary institutions. Of the 12,000 surveys 562 were completed (Kyong-Jee & Bonk, 2006). Kyong-Jee & Bonk (2006) used Survey Share, an online survey service used to develop and administer the 42 questions including: recipient??™s demographics, their view of the current status and predictions of online learning. Although, Kyong-Jeer & Bonks (2006) survey took place in late November of 2003 to early January of 2004 the paper was not complete for an additional two years.
The two-year lapse from survey to paper allowed the authors to see how the predictions of the survey fared. One point of interest is that only 1% of the survey recipients thought in the
future use of blogs would increase (Kyong-Jee & Bonk, 2006). With the experience of hindsight we can see how blogs not only increased in use, but also have virtually engulfed the Internet.
Another interesting point in Kyong-Jee & Bonks (2006) study discovered that the respondents assumed face-to-face instruction is a valid benchmark for teaching and learning outcomes, a desire that online courses strove to achieve. ???What if institutions took the opposite stance and measured face-to-face courses based on whether they could accomplish all that online instruction can???, (Kyong-Jee & Bonk, 2006, p. 28)
The research conducted by Kyong-Jee & Bonk (2006) also showed a significant difference in techniques faculty considered important and effective and their actual practice.
Results and conclusion of the study indicated that the faculty would require training and support to be preparing themselves for the online challenges that they will no doubt face in the near future. Course management systems (CMS) vendors will have to develop more educationally engaging tools and resources as the demand for more collaboration, critical thinking and increased student engagement is requested from both students and faculty. This clearly shows additional research needs to be done to effectively utilize the technologies available and to make online learning successful.
Kyong-Jee, K., & Bonk, C. J. (2006). The Future of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Survey Says… Educause Quarterly , 29 (4), 22-30. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVo lum/TheFutureofOnlineTeachingandLe/157426