The Transition From Teaching F2F to Online

The Transition From Teaching F2F to Online

Steven Tolman (Georgia Southern University, USA), Matt Dunbar (Georgia Southern University, USA), K. Brooke Slone (Georgia Southern University, USA), Allie Grimes (Georgia Southern University, USA) and Christopher A. Trautman (Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0115-3.ch006


As online education continues to grow, more and more faculty find themselves transitioning from teaching face-to-face to online environments. Unsurprisingly, this can be challenging for many faculty as they go through this process. This book chapters examines the experience of a faculty member who transitioned from teaching exclusively face-to-face to online and lessons learned are shared. Additionally, four students share their experience learning online and provide recommendations to faculty members.
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Online education has continued to grow and play an increasingly important role in higher education. The enrollment of online learners has increased from 1.6 million students in 2002 to 6.7 million online students in 2012 (Allen & Seaman, 2013). These significant enrollment numbers have not gone unnoticed, as a recent study found almost two-thirds of college and university administrators perceived online education as critical to the institution’s long-term strategy and success (Allen & Seaman, 2016). While it was previously found that students preferred traditional face-to-face courses over online courses with regard to course quality, counter to this they continued to enroll in online courses at increasing rates (Weldy, 2018). As online education programs increase in both size and scope, it is important that educators continue to establish online learning environments that not only foster learning, but also promote positive experiences for students.

It has been noted that online courses have some distinctive features that set them apart from the traditional face-to-face classroom experience, such as a reliance on technology, differences in learner participation and content delivery, college affordability, student flexibility, and accessibility (Ascough, 2002; Deming, Goldin, Katz & Yuchtman, 2015; Kauffman, 2015; Nguyen, 2015). Many factors impact the quality of online education and the learning experience, which has been a long-standing topic for consideration (Twigg, 2001; Yang & Cornelious, 2004). Twigg (2001) made the distinction that “any discussion about quality in a distributed learning environment must first ask: From whose perspective are we considering quality?” (p. 1). Students may perceive differences in the quality of their traditional face-to-face courses in comparison to the quality of their online courses; similarly, students may also perceive the quality of their online courses differently than faculty members guiding the online courses.

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