Don’t Be Victimized by the Poorly Developed Synchronous Online Course


Over the last ten years I have been involved with 30+ acim or distance learning courses. Distance or online learning pertains to engaging a course or learning via the use of the Internet through a computer. Online learning can be used as a method to secure knowledge for interest, organization requirement, or to obtain a PhD. Primary schools are using online activities to teach various subjects and assignments. Online learning courses are synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous learning is live learning which takes place at the same time that an instructor is presenting the course. Here the student and teacher are engaged in the process through the use of a microphone, earphone, monitor, computer and video camera. Asynchronous means that the course has a website Internet address or URL and the learner logs on the website to study, engage in a discussion or take a test. The student may engage the course of study 24hours a day 7 days a week.


Internet learning 10 years ago was a developing phenomenon. Course developers presented their courses in synchronous format but the video stream did not match the audio or the video arrived from the Internet in a broken up fashion. Such programs usually fell by the wayside and in the interim were replaced over the years to the present as workable platforms with minor problems. Such problems are exacerbated by instructors who are lacking in teaching experience and the combination places the potential acim learner in a double jeopardy situation whereby he or she stands to lose via poor program or platform development and improper teaching interaction. The teacher sets up the course outside the standards of proper teaching practice and/or lacks the people skills to respond to studdnt problems in an appropriate manner. Let us examine some of the current issues of online programs and the telltales of improper teaching approaches usually found in the course requirements.

Online Delivery Learning Issues

One problem for the program originator and instructor is the usability of various apps during synchronous presentations. To be able to use synchronous platforms the student must have access to his screen tabs to respond to or raise questions, perform exercises or generally work his screen. Applications at times cover the screen or enliven pop-up preventers prohibiting further activity or freezing the screen. In some cases this forces the student to undergo a time consuming login process disrupting the learning process. This problem is a telltale that the synchronous platform is unreliable/ or that there is a mismatch between the instructor program and the student body. Over the last ten years I have come across 4 cases of this mismatch or acim learning issue which may lead to major problems especially in cases where the past cognitive learning schema does not fit into new changes not noted in a continuing platform or the assumption made by a new online instructor that the given students in the online class are up to speed with the instructor’s version. In one case the instructor required textbooks to be used prior to the class start time in a fashion where the notion of a coursepack was used as a textbook which was not a textbook. The students believed that thecoursepack as a third choice was a combo textbook. As it turns out, the online provider of courses never noted that this word means supplemental readings chosen by the instructor labeled as a textbook but merely consisting of a few pages of various writings for a few dollars less than the two textbooks. The student in this case paid extra for the course,(thecoursepack was not required) and was behind the first day because the textbooks were not ordered on time.

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