One of the most neglected areas of online learning is the skills of online instructors. Like face-to-face instructors, online instructors need strong formation in content, instruction and assessment. But since they are teaching through technology, they also need formation in other areas (managing online learners, technology skills). These areas include:
THE THIRD ANNUAL Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) conference convened on September 16 in Wasserstein Hall at Harvard Law School, as more than 300 participants from across the University—professors, administrators, learning and teaching specialists—gathered to consider this year’s theme: “Engagement and Distance.” The importance of student engagement—“when they are challenged, when they own the experience, when they care”—is well established, HILT director Erin Driver-Linn, one of the conference organizers, observed in her opening remarks. President Drew Faust followed with welcoming remarks, asking, “How do space and distance influence student engagement?” The day revealed that distance can take many forms: not only physical but social or emotional distance as well, for example. And so can engagement.