Best Practices

Best Practices for Online Learning

Theories and Models of Online Learning cont.

“An environment in which technology, society, economics, politics, and theories of learning are all in transitioning suggests that definitions, theories, and the practice of distance education will continue to be contested.” (Simonson, Smaldino, and Zvacek 2015) It seems as though it is up to the learner to find an online learning program the meets her or his needs.

Simonson, M. R., Smaldino, S. E., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: foundations of distance education(6th ed.). Charlotte,, NC: Information Age Publishing.


Effective Practices for Online Learning


Learner Characteristics and Assessment of Online Learning

Learner characteristics and understanding how different learners learn is fundamental as an instructor facilitating learner diversity in online learning environments.

Below are practices used in a study completed by Damien Hutchinson in 2007 where he employed a teaching staff in IT to practice ‘knowing their learners’.

  • In week 1 ask students to submit a post to their DSO group forum for review and reflection including a summary of their interests, hobbies, working background, description of what they expect to learn, and identification of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Use a questionnaire from a learning survey tool to understand how these students learn.
  • Use both instructor-individual and instructor-group interaction.

Hutchinson, D. (2007). Teaching practices for effective cooperative learning in an online learning environment (OLE). Journal of Information Systems Education, 18(3), 357-367. Retrieved from