|Technology can serve many roles in a course. Technology can provide tools for communication, support collaboration, improve student motivation, and increase levels of engagement. Technology moves course content from text on a page to an interactive experience for both the instructor and the student. Audio, video, animation, and avatars can bring a sense of realism to course materials; offering the students opportunities to hear, see and interact with their instructor and the course content.
The biggest complaint of online students is they often report missing the "social information" that can be gained from face-to-face meetings; however, this can be overcome through multiple technologies such as social oriented tools like wikis, blogs, discussion boards and chat sessions. Facilitating online learning is like any other situation where instructors seek to engage and interact with their students.
This module will examine the use of technology tools as a means for communication, supporting collaboration, improving motivation and increasing levels of engagement in all forms of courses, such as the face-to-face, hybrid, or fully online.
The course facilitator plays an essential role in encouraging students to become thoughtful inquirers, autonomous thinkers, and constructive co-learners. To set a clear course in the class, and to provide encouragement, instructors should be curious about who their students are and how they think. As in face-to-face learning situations, the types of relationships that develop in an online course are central to the success of the class.