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Book ChapterDOI

A Pedagogical Continuum: The Journey from Face-to-Face to Online Teaching

01 Apr 2015-pp 107-132

AbstractAs the number of blended and online courses rapidly increases, it is essential that we have an understanding of the roles and activities that make up the work of an online instructor. The move towards web-enhanced or online learning offers not only new opportunities, but also new challenges for both instructors and students (Downing & Dyment, 2013). There is a need for knowledge of how to work effectively online, and effective preparation of high-quality instructors is of fundamental importance to meet the diverse needs of learners. This is particularly important in the field of teacher education where the instructor is modelling appropriate pedagogical practices that may in turn be picked up by the pre-service teachers as part of their practices when teaching with technology.

Summary (3 min read)

Introduction

  • The move towards web-enhanced or online learning offers new opportunities, but also new challenges for both instructors and students (Downing & Dyment, 2013).
  • There is a need for knowledge of how to work effectively online and effective preparation of high quality appropriate pedagogical practices that may in turn be picked up by the pre-service teachers as part of their practices when teaching with technology.
  • A lack of instructor readiness to move from face-to-face teaching to online teaching results in instructors trying to replicate face-to-face teaching online and not capitalizing on the online setting (Bonk & Dennen, 2003; Oliver, 2001; Palloff & Pratt, 2013).
  • When instructors begin to innovate they try new ways of thinking and acting.
  • It will describe their perspectives and practices as they reflected on their new approaches to teaching and the resulting student learning.

Technology, teaching and learning

  • Technology has been used to enhance learning in all education sectors and environments.
  • One might see technology enabled learning as a continua starting with traditional face-to-face teaching and finishing with fully online teaching.
  • Online teaching occurs when for the most part the content is available online as are the discussions.
  • That is, “[i]ndividuals who are looking to use emerging communication technologies (in teaching and learning) suffer similar difficulties and challenges as those who travel physically to different cultures” (San Jose & Kelleher, 2009, p. 471).
  • The resistance to online teaching is a natural result of ecoshock where instructors (and students) have yet to establish a comfortable way of working within the new environment.

Instructor Role

  • The concept of ecoshock suggests that contemporary teaching approaches where education is transformed through the use of technology and the resulting changes in the role of educators do not align with instructor expectations of effective learning and teaching opportunities.
  • Teaching presence is the key presence as it impacts on social and cognitive presence.
  • The roles are not isolated in that there is overlap between them.
  • Promotes trust and support among participants but also enables student to challenge others in respectful ways.
  • It requires the online instructor to be responsive to messages, be flexible, set clear expectations, and not overload the content and activities.

Background to the journey

  • This chapter describes the journey of two teacher educators as they travel along the continuum from face-to-face to blended to online teaching.
  • Both instructors were highly experienced teaching in face-to-face contexts.
  • The data were collected from archived online discussion forums, course document analysis, interviews and reflections from the instructors.
  • The following research questions guided the investigation:.

Pedagogical Role

  • The pedagogical role of the instructor is the intellectual and task based activities completed prior to and during the running of the course.
  • Alison decided to “sit back to see if other students responded” rather than be “quick to get in and respond to students immediately”.
  • The hope was to increase quantity and quality of discussion with increased student participation in online discussion.
  • The teaching presence of Scott and Alison changed during this stage; largely due to their ability to reflect on the data provided from their first blended course and then to discuss their concerns with a third person not related to the course.
  • They embraced the challenge of teaching online largely because they had seen “good outcomes” from their blended teaching and they developed confidence that online teaching could produce quality learning outcomes.

Social Roles

  • Social presence represents the interpersonal relationships established within a learning community.
  • In Stage 3, the instructors were very aware of the importance of social presence and its impact on student engagement and also teaching presence.
  • Scott uses short videos of himself to try and get a social presence, he shared that it is “not a polished performance but students get to see the real me” he also makes links to his personal webpage.
  • This has opened the door for students to talk about themselves – they can respond without a lot of content knowledge and reading – then bring in the literature after”.
  • Both Scott and Alison are concerned that there were still a considerable number of lurkers, and that students sometimes emailed personal questions or responses to the instructor rather than posting for all to see.

Managerial Role

  • The managerial role of an online instructor includes establishing the content, timelines and assessment for the course.
  • Assessment details and technical tips, there was an increased yet informal expectation that the online discussions would form a more integral part of the course and the participants had to find additional time to interact online.
  • She revealed that in the online space without visual cues “underlying issues are often not seen and you feel like you are putting out fires”.
  • It appears that the managerial aspect of a course depends on the evolution of the course and instructors experience.
  • Alison reflected that the role focus for improvement was on “exploring multiple ways to present and represent content”.

Technical Role

  • Technical aspects of teaching in blended or online environments include knowledge of how the technologies work and some problem solving strategies for those times when they don’t.
  • She uses technology tools assist in building and maintain relationships and support of students on their learning journey.
  • He included video clips and linked to his own webpage as a resource.
  • Scott engaged new technologies in the design of his courses; he managed his own technical learning; and then shared with others or sought assistance from others as part of his learning journey.
  • He found that the biggest changes for teachers were in “authoring of online courses” and the “requirement to provide ongoing technical support to students” (p. 322).

The ongoing journey

  • Over time Alison created a deeper personal understanding of blended and online teaching and learning, she reflected that “as it is more familiar to me I’m willing to try new things”.
  • The process of being part of this research bought issues to Alison’s attention.
  • She felt that she could continue to improve her practice in the online space however she has moved along a continuum of ongoing improvement.
  • His perceptions changed over time and he is no longer resistant to online teaching and no longer considers online as inferior to face-to-face teaching.
  • Key drivers for change for both instructors can be summarised as: Personal learning through research participation, reflection, collaboration and personal networks;.

Conclusion

  • This chapter documented the journey of two teacher educators moving from face-to-face, to blended, to fully online teaching over a four year period.
  • The key data source being a series of interviews, to enhance validity, this research was a case study with only two participants at a regional university and the outcomes are highly individualised with limited ability to generalise.
  • Having said that, although the instructors were both teacher educators, there is application of the findings for instructors in other disciplines in higher education.
  • It can provide the stimulus for a change in nature of thinking about approaches to teaching to gain improved learning outcomes (Hativa & Goodyear, 2001).

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A Pedagogical Continuum: The Journey from Face-to-
Face to Online Teaching
Abstract
Higher education has embraced innovative ways of using technology to enhance learning,
and online environments in particular, as a way to increase efficiencies, open educational
opportunities for students irrespective of location, and to increase flexibility of learning and
teaching. This chapter will describe the journey of two academics as they journey along the
pedagogical continuum from teaching fully face-to-face to blended, and then, on fully online
environments. The experiences and perspectives of the teacher educators will be shared.
Data from interviews, course materials and online discussions were analysed to identify
the issues and practices of the academics. Findings present the staged progression of the
academics in dealing with pedagogical, social, managerial, and technical aspects of moving
their teaching online. The instructors in this study had a strong desire to enhance their
teaching and student learning through innovation and reflective practice. As part of this
research and through reflective practice they explored a range of innovative pedagogical
practices. The teaching presence and beliefs of the instructors changed over the four years as
they moved along the pedagogical continuum from face-to-face to online teaching.
Introduction
As the number of blended and online courses rapidly increases it is essential that we have an
understanding of the roles and activities that make up the work of an online instructor. The
move towards web-enhanced or online learning offers new opportunities, but also new
challenges for both instructors and students (Downing & Dyment, 2013). There is a need for
knowledge of how to work effectively online and effective preparation of high quality

instructors is of fundamental importance to meet the diverse needs of learners. This is
particularly important in the field of teacher education where the instructor is modelling
appropriate pedagogical practices that may in turn be picked up by the pre-service teachers as
part of their practices when teaching with technology.
A lack of instructor readiness to move from face-to-face teaching to online teaching
results in instructors trying to replicate face-to-face teaching online and not capitalizing on
the online setting (Bonk & Dennen, 2003; Oliver, 2001; Palloff & Pratt, 2013). Instructors
often hesitate to use new technologies for learning and teaching, as they have limited
technology competency, confidence and currency for both personal and professional use.
Most instructors have not studied online and have an incomplete view of what it is like to
learn online. When instructors begin to innovate they try new ways of thinking and acting.
These new ways or innovations may not be new to the field but are new to the instructor.
This chapter will share innovative practices of two instructors as they journey from
teaching in the face-to-face environment, to a blended environment and finally to teaching
fully online over a four year period. It will describe their perspectives and practices as they
reflected on their new approaches to teaching and the resulting student learning. As part of
the research the instructors re-evaluated their values, beliefs and assumptions about teaching
and learning in general but with particular reference to teaching online.
Technology, teaching and learning
Technology has been used to enhance learning in all education sectors and environments.
One might see technology enabled learning as a continua starting with traditional face-to-face
teaching and finishing with fully online teaching. The pedagogical possibilities in the field of
technology and teaching and learning are endless. In their research exploring online

education in the United States, Allen and Seaman (2013) used four different classifications to
discuss the impact of technology on learning.
1. Face-to-face teaching where the discussions and content are only available during
classes and no technology is used.
2. Technology enhanced or web facilitated face-to-face teaching and learning where
Information Communication Technology (ICT) is used within face-to-face classes
or the web might be used to post written information also provided in the face-to-
face class.
3. Blended teaching where online and face-to-face combine together to deliver a
course. Allen and Seaman (2013) suggested that between 30 and 79% of the content
is available online along with some supporting online discussion.
4. Online teaching occurs when for the most part the content is available online as are
the discussions.
Allen and Seaman (2013) recommended that an online course is one where 80% or
more of the course is delivered online. The other 20% may include some phone or face-to-
face contact to support learning. Online instructors face novel challenges when designing and
facilitating online courses while responding to the diverse needs of their students and
encouraging online interaction. Successful online instructors are: flexible; open to learn from
others (including their students); prepared to share control with the students; and willing to
collaborate (Palloff & Pratt, 2003).
Many instructors find the shift in pedagogical practices confronting, especially if they
move from a face-to-face environment which is largely teacher directed and are required to
redesign their course for a blended or online environment with a more constructivist
approach. Sockman and Sharma (2008) suggested there are five key lessons that instructors
should consider when redesigning courses for transformative teaching and learning: “it is

easier to tell than to listen; modelling needs to go beyond a monologue; be humble and learn
from the students; there are more ways to the same end; and grading the end product or
acknowledging the risk” (p. 1070).
The expanded range of pedagogical possibilities and realities as instructors move to
teaching online frequently results in ecoshock. That is, “[i]ndividuals who are looking to use
emerging communication technologies (in teaching and learning) suffer similar difficulties
and challenges as those who travel physically to different cultures” (San Jose & Kelleher,
2009, p. 471). The ecoshock concept encompasses the difficulties and challenges that learners
and instructors feel both physically and virtually when moving from face-to-face to online
teaching and learning environments. San Jose and Kelleher (2009) revealed that participants
are likely to feel frustration, anxiety, withdrawal, nervousness and fatigue when trying to
work in the new environment. This results in high stress and low motivation as they are
overwhelmed by the changed learning ecology and a strong desire to return to what is
familiar. The resistance to online teaching is a natural result of ecoshock where instructors
(and students) have yet to establish a comfortable way of working within the new
environment.
Instructor Role
The concept of ecoshock suggests that contemporary teaching approaches where education is
transformed through the use of technology and the resulting changes in the role of educators
do not align with instructor expectations of effective learning and teaching opportunities. In
the move to online teaching McQuiggan (2007) explained that instructors found differences
due to the lack of lack of physical presence, the need to prepare and present content
differently; and the need to comment and build relationships differently.

The application of technology in teaching can transform learning and initiate a role shift
of the instructor (Reid, 2012) and that of the students. It changes the timing and nature of
academics work. Online teaching within a constructivist environment requires the instructor
to take on the roles beyond content expert, to that of learning facilitator which “emphasizes
the primacy of intra- and inter-personal interactions, cultural tools” (Boudreau, Headley, &
Ashford, 2009, p. 2077). When working online a significant part of the role is completed
prior to the students entering the course.
In her guide to e-learning practitioners Salmon (2011) recommends that online
instructors have the following five competencies to assist learners’ in interacting with the
instructor, each other, the content, and make meaning from these interactions.
1. Understanding of the online learning processes;
2. Technical skills to use the software features;
3. Online communication skills (non verbal, verbal, and written);
4. Content expertise to share with and support students personal learning; and
5. Personal characteristics such as empathy; creativity; confidence; and flexibility.
In early literature investigating online teaching Mason (1991) recommended the skills
required by online facilitators “falls generally into three categories: organisational, social, and
intellectual.” Whereas Watson (2007) believed effective online instructors need the ability to
use the technology tools and have a strong online pedagogy. His suggested key skill set to
move to teaching online includes: heightened communication, (especially written
communication), effective time management, ability to access or develop multimedia
resources, and the capacity to respond to different learning preferences, contexts and students
with disabilities (Watson, 2007). This is of particular importance because online courses
reach a broader and different range of students when compared to face-to-face courses.

Figures (4)
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Online courses are mainstream throughout higher education. This pattern has been accelerated, temporarily or permanently, due to the coronavirus pandemic (Allen & Seaman, 2016; Arum & Stevens, 2020...

25 citations


Cites background from "A Pedagogical Continuum: The Journe..."

  • ...Redmond (2015) asserted that faculty must be willing to “try new ways of thinking and acting” (pp. 107–108), which she concluded requires “intellectual courage” (p. 128)....

    [...]

  • ...Researchers described the power shifts that can occur as faculty move away from teacher directed instruction in favor of constructivist approaches to e-learning (Redmond, 2015; Reid, 2012)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This reflexive inquiry explores a teacher educator’s efforts to design opportunities for students to use their knowledge of social media and the Internet to contribute content to their online criti...

7 citations


Cites background from "A Pedagogical Continuum: The Journe..."

  • ...These affective dispositions include individual teacher educators’ responses to risk taking, responses to change, identity disruption, and stress (Johnson, Ehrlich, Watts-Taffe, & Williams, 2014; Redmond, 2015; Salmon, 2011; Sockman & Sharma, 2008)....

    [...]


References
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is suggested that computer conferencing has considerable potential to create a community of inquiry for educational purposes and should be used as a medium for this purpose.
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to provide conceptual order and a tool for the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and computer conferencing in supporting an educational experience. Central to the study introduced here is a model of community inquiry that constitutes three elements essential to an educational transaction—cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. Indicators (key words/phrases) for each of the three elements emerged from the analysis of computer-conferencing transcripts. The indicators described represent a template or tool for researchers to analyze written transcripts, as well as a guide to educators for the optimal use of computer conferencing as a medium to facilitate an educational transaction. This research would suggest that computer conferencing has considerable potential to create a community of inquiry for educational purposes.

4,241 citations


"A Pedagogical Continuum: The Journe..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Social presence was defined as “the ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves socially and emotionally, as ‘real’ people” (Garrison et al., 2000, p. 94)....

    [...]


01 May 2009
TL;DR: The meta-analysis of empirical studies of online learning found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction, and suggests that the positive effects associated with blended learning should not be attributed to the media, per se.
Abstract: A systematic search of the research literature from 1996 through July 2008 identified more than a thousand empirical studies of online learning. Analysts screened these studies to find those that (a) contrasted an online to a face-to-face condition, (b) measured student learning outcomes, (c) used a rigorous research design, and (d) provided adequate information to calculate an effect size. As a result of this screening, 51 independent effects were identified that could be subjected to meta-analysis. The meta-analysis found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. The difference between student outcomes for online and face-to-face classes—measured as the difference between treatment and control means, divided by the pooled standard deviation—was larger in those studies contrasting conditions that blended elements of online and face-to-face instruction with conditions taught entirely face-to-face. Analysts noted that these blended conditions often included additional learning time and instructional elements not received by students in control conditions. This finding suggests that the positive effects associated with blended learning should not be attributed to the media, per se. An unexpected finding was the small number of rigorous published studies contrasting online and face-to-face learning conditions for K–12 students. In light of this small corpus, caution is required in generalizing to the K–12 population because the results are derived for the most part from studies in other settings (e.g., medical training, higher education).

2,942 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Based on the GlobalEd inter‐university computer conference, this study examined how effective “social presence” is as a predictor of overall learner satisfaction in a text‐based medium. The stepwise regression analysis converged on a three‐predictor model revealing that social presence (the degree to which a person is perceived as “real” in mediated communication), student perception of having equal opportunity to participate, and technical skills accounted for about 68% of the explained variance. Social presence alone contributed about 60% of this variance, suggesting that it may be a very strong predictor of satisfaction. Reliability data on the social presence scale is provided. The results also indicated that participants who felt a higher sense of social presence enhanced their socio‐emotional experience by using emoticons to express missing nonverbal cues in written form. These findings have implications for designing academic computer conferences where equal attention must be paid to desig...

1,631 citations


"A Pedagogical Continuum: The Journe..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The instructors ‘gut feelings’ about the importance of social presence have been born out in the research of others (Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997; Richardson & Swan, 2003) who have found that social presence is a predictor of student satisfaction in learning....

    [...]


01 Jan 2013
Abstract: This document reports on the state of online learning among higher education institutions in the United States. The study is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education. Based on responses from over 2,800 colleges and universities, the report addresses the following key issues: (1) massive open online courses (MOOCS); (2) are we heading for online 2.0?; (3) is online learning strategic?; (4) how many students are learning online?; (5) who offers online?; (6) does it take more faculty time and effort to teach online?; (7) are learning outcomes in online comparable to face-to-face?; (8) has faculty acceptance of online increased?; and (9) barriers to widespread adoption of online learning.

1,502 citations


"A Pedagogical Continuum: The Journe..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Allen and Seaman (2013) recommended that an online course is one where 80% or more of the course is delivered online....

    [...]

  • ...Allen and Seaman (2013) suggested that between 30 and 79% of the content is available online along with some supporting online discussion....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
19 Mar 2019
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that social presence not only affects outcomes but also student, and possibly instructor, satisfaction with a course [1]. Teacher immediacy behaviors and the presence of others are especially important issues for those involved in delivering online education. This study explored the role of social presence in online learning environments and its relationship to students’ perceptions of learning and satisfaction with the instructor. The participants for this study were students who completed Empire State College’s (ESC) online learning courses in the spring of 2000 and completed the end of semester course survey (n=97). A correlational design was utilized. This study found that students with high overall perceptions of social presence also scored high in terms of perceived learning and perceived satisfaction with the instructor. Students’ perceptions of social presence overall, moreover, contributed significantly to the predictor equation for students’ perceived learning overall. Gender accounted for some of the variability of students’ overall perception of social presence, while age and number of college credits earned did not account for any of the variability.

1,297 citations


Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What have the authors contributed in "A pedagogical continuum: the journey from face-to- face to online teaching" ?

The instructors in this study had a strong desire to enhance their teaching and student learning through innovation and reflective practice. As part of this research and through reflective practice they explored a range of innovative pedagogical practices. 

The findings can provide an opportunity for future discussions and research in the exploration of the impact on practice as instructors move to teaching online. Future research might involve other instructors across a range of disciplines and institutions ; also the study might be replicated to explore of the change in role and expectations of online learners as they first move from face-to-face learning to online learning. The move to online teaching can be the catalyst for questioning and reflecting on one ’ s philosophy and pedagogical practices.