Conclusion

Conclusion

Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5055-8.ch012
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Abstract

Chapter 12 serves as a conclusion chapter for the entire text. This chapter reiterates the importance of acquisition and learning and, in particular, the importance of balancing acquisition and learning for online teacher training. This chapter also focuses on identifying future trends in online teacher training and potential directions for institutions, accreditation committees, and higher education in general to pursue. In addition, this chapter further argues for the flexibility of an online teacher training program utilizing acquisition and learning to present the argument that this concept is within reach for all universities that should want to further the training of their online instructors.
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Introduction

The most critical issue affecting the role of higher education in the next decade is not technological. The real issue is leadership. Will higher education be able to shift from an industrial model to an information age model? Who will lead the way? – G.M. Connick (1997)

Throughout this text, many terms and concepts have been introduced, discussed, dissected, and reimagined. All of these terms and concepts surround the major subject heading of online education and seek to improve the experience of teaching online for both the instructors and the students. There are a few additional terms to discuss that represent the major thought processes throughout this text. The terms to be discussed in this introduction section help to demonstrate the necessity for changes to online teacher training programs in terms of online pedagogy development.

A number of resources used throughout this text have represented different areas of study (literacy, technology, various disciplines) that argue for some sort of changes to be made to online teacher training or to build or supplement online teacher training. But the amount of conversation across disciplines or the number of publications does not necessarily constitute a need for immediate change to our programs. Rather, there are ways to evaluate if a course or program is still important and a necessary part of an institutional system. Part of that consideration is undoubtedly the popularity of the program: are there enough students to support the continuation of the program? An online pedagogy program would certainly gain popularity once online instructors learned that there was much more to know and understand to creating online courses and that there was a possibility that they could have different pedagogical philosophies online as they do F2F.

The terms that will now be discussed represent a thorough understanding of some of the general components of education. According to Wright’s (2000) text Issues in Education & Technology, there are three fundamentals that represent quality in online education. These three dimensions include relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency (p. 105). The terms relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency represent the culmination of this text and the challenges to instructors, administrators, and institutions to reevaluate their online programs to critically examine the application of these terms to their distance education programs. Let us examine Wright’s definitions and utilizations of these terms.

Relevance, Wright argues, includes a number of concepts, not just relevant course structure, but also:

  • Appropriate forms of knowledge in terms of subjects or disciplines;

  • National priorities, goals, and objectives that relate to education;

  • International issues and concerns that have implications for education;

  • Local priorities and concerns that relate to education;

  • Background realities and defining characteristics of the learners; and

  • Hopes and aspirations for the future (learners, communities, and nation). (p. 105)

Relevance, per these defining characteristics, has been a significant element of this text. It is not just relevant, as in timely, to discuss online teacher training or make suggestions as to how it could potentially be improved throughout the disciplines. But, as this text has argued, it should also become a national priority and hold a stronger presence in the regional and national accreditation agencies in American higher education. Until such a time when accreditation has a stronger role in changing the requirements of distance education standards and online teacher credentialing, the system can be in a state of perpetuation and never develop further. As more texts like this emerge and conversations regarding online educators continue, more faculty, administrators, and organizations will take note of the changes that will greatly improve education for our students on a number of levels.

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