Promoting Engagement with Online Presentations

Promoting Engagement with Online Presentations

Amy Gaimaro (St. John's University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8696-0.ch009
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Abstract

Educators delivering online presentations face many challenges when teaching in this modality. Lack of student engagement is one such challenge. Students can study online with lackluster learning experiences when participating in a predominately text-based course. Applying multiple instructional strategies to address students' diverse learning styles can provide students with a more engaged online learning experience. Another challenge many educators face, is the need for support and guidance to facilitate effective online learning. More specifically, educators of the twenty-first century are seeking the know-how to move traditional text-based materials into online, media-rich course content. This chapter will examine some of the challenges of delivering quality online presentations. In conclusion, the author will provide examples of strategies for delivering effective online presentations within the virtual college classroom.
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Introduction

According to the authors of the New Media Consortium Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition, the integration of online, hybrid, and collaborative learning models will drive changes in higher education over the next one to two years (Johnson, Becker, Estrada, & Freeman, 2014). With higher education institutions developing courses in these modalities of teaching, the need for effective and engaging instructional strategies is in great demand. To further reinforce the importance of delivering quality online presentations, a recent study of more than 2,800 colleges and universities reported 7.1 million students have taken at least one online course during the fall 2012 semester. This represents a 411,757 increase from the previous year. With a reported overall enrollment growth rate of only 1.2% for these institutions; online enrollment grew by 6.1% (Allen & Seaman, 2014). For purposes of this chapter, an online presentation is a form of delivering a lecture or content to students in the online learning environment.

With the increase in students enrolled in fully online learning courses or courses delivered partially online, universities are moving away from the traditional text-based lecture hall style of teaching. Educators are now delivering flipped, blended and online classes. Flipped learning models involve faculty uploading lectures into a virtual environment while students complete work in the classroom. This is considered flipped, because the delivery of lectures and the completion of homework assignments are inverted or flipped. According to the Sloan Consortium’s definition of blended learning; a blended or hybrid learning model of instruction contains between 30 and 79 percent of the course content delivered online. Striking a balance of online lectures and activities with face-to-face interactions inside the classroom is often a challenge when designing a blended course. An online course is defined as one in which at least 80 percent of the course content is delivered online (Allen & Seaman, 2014). With the increase use of new teaching models, and in the absence of face-to-face interactions, developing engaging online presentation materials is both relevant and timely. According to Miller (2011), educators now have a vast and emergent body of course-relevant content which can expand student learning opportunities outside those provided in the conventional classroom. Today’s educators face many challenges while teaching in the twenty-first century; most instructors are digital immigrants who are now teaching digital natives. A digital native is defined as someone who grew up with the use of computers, video games and the Internet (Prensky, 2001). While digital immigrants are not native speakers of the digital language; however, they can adapt to their environment. Today’s students have changed from prior generations of students with the use of technology in their everyday lives. “Students have a need-to-know, short-term, goal-oriented world view that contrasts with professors’ value of life-long learning for learning’s sake” (Lane, Hunt & Farris, 2011, p. 105). The implications can be profound, resulting in a disconnection between the educator and the learner. The role of faculty development today, as it relates to teaching the twenty-first century learner, has never been so relevant in bridging the teaching and learning gaps that exist in higher education today.

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