“Professional development for online instructors is very important these days. As online learning grows and expands, this will be ever more important.”
(Getting Online research respondent from a university)
As online learning grows and evolves, instructors and content developers will require more training and support in order to increase the quality of online content and facilitation. Training is also needed to help instructors and content developers better understand technology and its application for learning.
Training and Support for Online Content Development
Enhanced training of content developers is needed to support the development of dynamic, interactive, high quality, and relevant online content.
In the Getting Online research, many respondents identified the need to increase the quality of online learning as a trend. The most commonly noted suggestion for improving online learning revolved around knowing how to develop and design courses for online delivery and many respondents indicated that there was a strong need for more training in this area. Some respondents observed that some organizations do not understand how to create high quality online content and such organizations tended to instead take existing face-to-face content and merely place it online without adapting it for an online learning environment. As one respondent from a university noted, “many academic courses that bill themselves as online are really just glorified correspondence courses. They aren't really online in any meaningful way.”
As online learning becomes more prevalent and readily available, it is likely that participants will demand higher quality online content and standards will have to improve to meet the needs of these more savvy users. Training in online content development and the sharing of best practices will both support the creation of higher quality content.
The Getting Online web-based module on “Online Content” provides more information on the effective development of online content.