Deciding to teach online: Communication, opportunities and challenges for educators in distance education

Adopting technology in support of educational programmes brings about self-evident changes and challenges both for students and educators (faculty members/facilitators), as well as for teaching and learning in distance education. The participatory culture of online learning and teaching demands new...

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Published in: Communicatio Vol. 41; no. 4; pp. 543 - 563
Main Author: Terblanché, Elize
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: South Africa Routledge 10-02-2015
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Summary: Adopting technology in support of educational programmes brings about self-evident changes and challenges both for students and educators (faculty members/facilitators), as well as for teaching and learning in distance education. The participatory culture of online learning and teaching demands new skills and competencies that pose challenges for existing teaching and learning pedagogies. The purpose of this literature review is to identify and exemplify facilitator roles in e-learning, to argue that there is a need for facilitators to undergo e-learning-related training, and to consider certain other challenges that result from using an online platform for teaching and learning. The results of the literature survey confirm that the roles of the educator change in a digital environment, while communication also enables him/her to maintain a degree of control over computer-mediated learning. It is argued that training in phases can enhance mentors' personal development and encourage positive attitudes towards accepting responsibilities in e-learning, while ensuring continued support and back-up for educators and novice facilitators.
ISSN: 0250-0167
1753-5379
DOI: 10.1080/02500167.2015.1115416