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Myth 5

Eventually, all faculty will abandon face-to-face teaching for online teaching.

Not every faculty member will be a good online instructor. Some faculty will not be able to develop the skills needed for online teaching and learning. In the online environment, the skill of delivering inspiring lectures is replaced by the skill of facilitating conversations among and with students. Learning facilitator skills takes training and practice, just as learning to be a good face-to-face classroom teacher takes training and practice.

Many people believe that the use of instructional technology begins with the most technologically advanced faculty and then slowly but surely most other faculty members adopt and begin to use technology in their teaching. William Geoghegan built on the works of Rogers and Moore to show that most faculty members will not integrate technology into teaching on their own. Crossing the "gap" between early adopters and mainstream faculty does not occur unless institutions recognize that there is a technology gap and work very hard to overcome the natural tendencies faculty have to resist the integration of technology into teaching.

There will always be a need for face-to-face instruction. Some subjects may be more susceptible to learning in a face-to-face enviornment. Hands-on subjects for practitioners of a craft or a skills-based profession require apprenticeships where instructors can observe the quality of work and offer suggestions. Young learners come to campus to associate with scholars and others pursuing learning. In the process they become socialized and exposed to a variety of ideas and cultures. There is not an online substitute for this process.

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Resources

Seven Myths of Educational Technology or If You Want to Know How to Use Technology in Teaching, Ask a Teacher! by Bill Scroggins, March 1998,

Implementing Change Involving WWW-Based Course Support Across the Faculty by B. A. Collis

 

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