E-Learning and Teaching: The Need for Clear Pedagogy

E-Learning and Teaching: The Need for Clear Pedagogy

Amani Hamdan (Prince Mohamad Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-985-9.ch008


The last three decades have witnessed the phenomenal growth of the Internet as a medium for teaching and learning in higher education. Yet educational systems have done little to gain a better understanding of how these methods affect the nature and level of student engagement. Although there is a rapidly growing literature on the use of the Internet for teaching and learning purposes, there is relatively little literature and associated research on effective Pedagogical approaches to web-based instruction. This chapter starts by outlining the advantages and disadvantages of using the web for teaching in the context of higher education. One aspect of the disadvantages that is addressed in this chapter is the dilemma that Online learning and teaching pose for decision-makers, educators and students with regard to the implementation of Pedagogical approaches aimed at enhancing critical thinking and metacognitive skills.
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Before I delve into the discussion of Online learning and its Pedagogical challenges, I will define and explain the term “e-learning.” Given the fact that this term has a variety of definitions, it is necessary to define its meaning in the context of this paper. Zemsky and Massy (2004) define e-learning as distance education, as electronically mediated learning and as facilitated transactions software. E-learning is arguably best defined as a field of education that focuses on

…pedagogy/andragogy, technology, and instructional systems design that are effectively incorporated in delivering education to students who are not physically “on site” to receive their education. Instead teachers and students may communicate asynchronously (at times of their own choosing) by exchanging printed or electronic media, or through technology that allows them to communicate in real time (synchronously). (Morales, 2007, p. 3)

I employ the following definitions as my main referenced understanding and the core meaning of e-learning which will be discussed in this chapter.

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