Are you prepared to teach in various settings?

Have you considered teaching in a new setting? It is no secret that the field of higher education is changing – shifting from traditional ground setting classes and toward online classes and blended or hybrid classes. The ability to teach in a variety of settings provides opportunities to teach in various settings, which opens the door to more teaching opportunities.

Today, many college students are adult learners, who have families and full-time jobs; they do not have the ability to come to campus several times a week to participate in classes. In addition, the majority of ground classes offered at colleges and universities for bachelor level students are offered during the day. This can pose a problem for adult learners or students who are working full time jobs to pay for college. Therefore, colleges and universities have adapted class offerings to be more accessible. So, let’s consider various formats/modalities courses can be offered in today….

Blended or Hybrid Learning
The best methods from the traditional classroom and the online environment are combined to create a blended learning or hybrid class. Blended learning classes include a face to face and online digital media component. Traditional classroom methods can be used to deliver content, and online digital media is used to deliver other aspects of the course content. Students are provided an opportunity to engage with the material due to the access to technology and resources that cannot be access from the traditional classroom setting. One popular form of blended learning is flipping the classroom. Students are expected to engage with and review material before coming to class. Then the material that they reviewed is applied in the classroom setting. Application provides the opportunity to really engage with the content in a meaningful way.

Online or Distance Learning
IMG_1701Online learning allows students to learn from any location where they have access to technology that allows them to access the Internet. A learning management system will be used to access the course materials and resources and to participate in discussions, ask questions, and submit assignments/graded work. Learning in this setting for the most part is asynchronous. Students are not require to physically attend class. They sole connect with the instructor, peers, and the course materials through the learning management system accessed by way of the Internet.

Cohort Classes
When students are in a cohort, this simply means they will progress through the degree program with the same group of students. Cohorts can be offered in K-12 programs, in undergraduate programs, and in graduate programs. They can also be established in face to face as well as online settings.

Current Trends
Teaching is no longer done by simply standing behind a podium and lecturing in the front of a classroom. For this reason, it’s important to consider how classes you teach in a traditional face to face format can be offered in various modalities. Can your lessons, activities, assignments, and assessments be modified, converted, or adapted to be taught in an online modality or blended learning setting? Do you need to create additional materials, new assessments, and different assignments for students in different settings? Or can you adopt current assessments and assignments to those particular settings? Regardless of the modality, courses that are offered in various modalities should include the same information. Students should be assessed on the exact same objectives as students in a ground course.

Try Something New
Have you done any research and considered possibly blending one of your traditional class ground classes? It is fairly easy to get into a routine, which often prohibts seeking and seizing opportunities to grow as a professional in this field or any field. When you continue to do what you are comfortable doing, you miss opportunities to expand your skills. It’s important to consider that as the field changes you also have to adapt and be willing to change to meet new standards and expectations.

IMG_1715Technological innovation have changed the field of education. Students are able to attend classes in various settings and modalities, because technology provides the means to attend class anywhere an Internet connection can be established. It has also changed the field of education, because teachers have to be more innovative when they are presenting information in class. Subject matter can be access easily and quickly from the Internet; students can “Google” just about anything. Simply standing and lecturing is no longer enough to draw students to classes and keep their attention. If they can read the information in the textbook or better yet, find it on the Internet, then why bother to attend class? Creative and innovative thinking, as well as stepping outside of your comfort zone, may be necessary in order to continue to grow as a professional in the field of higher education.

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