Sharing Insights: Teachers’ Problems and Accomplishments in their Online Day-to-Day Teaching

Sharing Insights: Teachers’ Problems and Accomplishments in their Online Day-to-Day Teaching

Carmen Pérez-Fragoso (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1655-4.ch016
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Abstract

The case presents an analysis of the postings of a group of online teachers from a Mexican public university as they confront the challenges and rewards of their day-to-day teaching activities. They commented on their problems and accomplishments in a discussion forum during one semester. The problems included academic-administrative issues, difficulties of students in the appropriation of the platforms and the self-regulation of their learning, time management, negotiation and penalization of tasks delayed, and other pedagogical concerns to the lack of institutional support. The findings suggest that the problems that online teachers face share specific characteristics and, according to the teachers, are mostly due to the pedagogical relationship being technologically mediated. Through the analysis, the author hopes to illustrate the complex technological, organizational, and cultural issues that accompany online teaching and learning, and how the institution and the individual teachers dealt with them.
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Setting The Stage

The World Conference on Higher Education (UNESCO, 1998) was instrumental in setting the pace of development of higher education at the global, regional and national levels. The document emphasizes the necessity to offer continuous access to education to all members of society “by creating new learning environments ranging from distance education facilities to complete virtual higher education institutions and systems, capable of bridging distances and developing high-quality systems of education, thus serving social and economic advancement and democratization as well as other priorities of society” (UNESCO, 2002, p. 88). In Mexico, the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education, ANUIES for its initials in Spanish, endorses online teaching and learning in higher education (ANUIES, 1999). Due to the increasing demand for higher education, ANUIES is developing a virtual university system to complement the present system (Ruiz, 1997; ANUIES, 2002). These international and national policies have begun to affect state universities and are currently influencing budgets and universities’ priorities (Rodríguez, 2002).

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