Barriers and Enabling Factors in Online Teaching

By Craig Anderson.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Online teaching and learning has been perceived to have many advantages over traditional face to face modes, and some research has indicated that there are significant advantages for student learning. There has been a marked preference by tertiary students for online learning, or at least blended (online and face to face) modes. In many cases online delivery provides improved educational outcomes, at a lower cost. In spite of this, take up of online teaching has been lower than both students and administrators desire. This has often been attributed to a reluctance of academic staff to take up online teaching. Over the past 15 years there has been a considerable research around the factors that encourage and discourage academic staff in the tertiary sector to teach in online environments. This paper will examine trends over the past 15 years, and consolidate the major themes which have been identified, as well as critically examining the methodologies used in identifying and assessing barriers and enabling factors to online teaching. The outcome of this paper will be a better understanding and consolidation of the existing research into the uptake of online teaching in the tertiary education sector. This has direct implications for learning and teaching, as an inability to overcome resistance to online teaching (if such resistance does exist) will have a number of negative outcomes. These include missed educational opportunities, as well as disengagement of students, who, in many cases, have an expectation of a high degree of online content and interaction.

Keywords: Online Teaching, Barriers, Enabling Factors

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 12, pp.241-246. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 514.659KB).

Craig Anderson

Director - Library, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Currently Director- Library of one of the larger academic libraries in Australia, Craig has a background in local government and IT systems sales and support. Current qualifications include B. Sc. (Education), Grad Dip. Librarianship, Grad Dip Managament, and Masters Business IT. PhD investigating barriers and enablers to online teaching currently in progress. Past Vice President and President of national professional association (ALIA), and Chair of Board of CAVAL, Victorian based academic library cosortium, with turnover of around $ 3 million per annum.


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