Technology provides many solutions to meet diverse learning needs. Not all students learn the same way so it is important to model and scaffold various strategies, and to offer alternatives when teaching online. This chapter highlights appropriate online teaching practices identified in research and the relationship to learner needs illustrated by data from 132 undergraduate students obtained using the Learning and Study Styles Inventory (LASSI). Of the areas assessed by the LASSI instrument students in this sample from a large university demonstrated concentration as one area of strength. Problem areas included (a) selecting main ideas, (b) test strategies, and (c) motivation. Areas requiring extensive remediation were (a) information processing, (b) attitude, (c) self-testing, (d) study aids, and (e) time management. Appropriate teaching strategies for helping the students to improve are provided. The implications are that many students have serious shortfalls in learning skills, and that instructors need to assess and scaffold student success.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Zone of Proximal Development: Zone of proximal development is the difference between what a student can achieve independently in relation to what they can achieve when guided by someone more capable. Instructors need to assess and scaffold student success.
Information Processing Model: Memory is represented as sensory, working, and long-term. Memory is improved by rehearsing and encoding information.
Self-Regulation: Self-regulation is learning controlled by learners and due to self-generated thoughts, feelings, strategies, and behaviors, which are oriented toward the attainment of goals.
Active Learning: Active learning takes place in the classroom when students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm. This type of learning facilitates recall of information and the use of that information in different contexts.
WebQuest: WebQuest is inquiry-based in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet and leads to meaningful understandings in real-world projects.
Scaffold: A more knowledgeable teacher provides scaffolds or supports to facilitate a student’s ability to connect prior knowledge with and internalize new information.
Analogical: Analogical is a process of recognition and application of a solution from a known problem to a new problem.
Engagement: Engagement is working with fully engaged students, working in a real-world context, using expert vocabulary, skills, and concepts, where learning happens naturally.
Self-Efficacy: Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in their ability to perform a particular task.
Intrinsic Motivation: Intrinsic motivation is what people will do without external inducement, activities in which people engage for no reward other than the interest and enjoyment that accompanies them.