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Abstract

The discourse on the implementation of the digital technologies in higher education settings focuses mainly on students’ learning rather than on professors’ teaching. The little attention paid to the crucial role of teachers in online settings results in a restricted and moderate adaptation of the technologies in higher education worldwide. In most higher education institutions, the new technologies are used mainly for add-on functions and not for substituting face-to-face encounters or for an intensive web-enhanced teaching. This article starts with briefly explaining why most students, particularly at the undergraduate level, are unable and/or unwilling to study by themselves without expert teachers to guide their knowledge construction, discusses the problematics of digital literacy of teachers, examines the main reasons for the reluctance of many academics to utilize the technologies more fully in their teaching, and concludes by recommending some strategies for incorporating more fully the huge array of the technologies’ capabilities in higher education institutions.
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© NAER Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research 2018 | http://naerjournal.ua.es
ORIGINAL
JOURNAL NEW APPROACHES IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
Vol. 7. No. 2. July 2018. pp. 93–97 ISSN: 2254-7339 DOI: 10.7821/naer.2018.7.298
E-Teaching in Higher Education: An Essential Prerequisite for
E-Learning
Sarah Guri-Rosenblit*
*Vice-President for Academic Affairs, The Open University of Israel, Israel {saragu@openu.ac.il}
Received on 26 April 2018; revised on 30 April 2018; accepted on 7 May 2018; published on 15 July 2018
DOI: 10.7821/naer.2018.7.298
ABSTRACT
The discourse on the implementation of the digital technologies
in higher education settings focuses mainly on students’ learning
rather than on professors’ teaching. The little attention paid to the
crucial role of teachers in online settings results in a restricted and
moderate adaptation of the technologies in higher education world-
wide. In most higher education institutions, the new technologies
are used mainly for add-on functions and not for substituting face-
to-face encounters or for an intensive web-enhanced teaching.
This article starts with briey explaining why most students, par-
ticularly at the undergraduate level, are unable and/or unwilling to
study by themselves without expert teachers to guide their knowle-
dge construction, discusses the problematics of digital literacy of
teachers, examines the main reasons for the reluctance of many
academics to utilize the technologies more fully in their teaching,
and concludes by recommending some strategies for incorporating
more fully the huge array of the technologies’ capabilities in higher
education institutions.
KEYWORDS: E-TEACHING, E-LEARNING, ACADEMIC FACUL-
TY, DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES, HIGHER EDUCATION.
1 INTRODUCTION
The new electronic media were introduced into the academic
world as a sudden thunderstorm without having sufcient time to
dene the exact functions that they are supposed to fulll or subs-
titute. The impact of the technologies on learning and teaching, in
general, and in higher education, in particular, is still unclear and
open to much debate and research. The discourse on the imple-
mentation of the digital technologies in higher education settings
focuses mainly on students’ learning rather than on professors’
teaching (Alexander et al., 2017; Andrews & Haythornthwaite,
2009; Bates & Sangra, 2011; Guri-Rosenblit, 2009, 2010; Hara-
sim, 2000; Johnson et al., 2016). Many policy papers, academic
publications and research studies on the digital era highlight the
importance of putting the students in the center of the learning/
teaching process, and of designing student-centered programs.
There is a noticeable scarcity of discussion on the essential role of
teachers in the relevant literature on online learning. The underl-
ying assumption in many publications dealing with the potential
advantages of employing the digital technologies in higher educa-
tion is that the role of teachers should be reduced from a “sage on
the stage” to a “guide on the side”, and that such a transformation
takes place naturally in online settings. This article challenges this
assumption. E-teaching is an essential prerequisite for e-learning,
particularly for novice students in any educational framework.
The roles of teachers in an online environment differ meaningfully
from their traditional roles in a classroom setting. Most teachers
and professors nowadays do not possess a sufcient digital lite-
racy (Alexander et al., 2017; Wineburg et al., 2016). To equip
professors with adequate tools to use efciently and effectively
the wide range of capabilities enabled by the new technologies
necessitates a conceptual redenition of the teachers’ roles, a well
designed training, and ongoing support systems for both students
and teachers in the learning/teaching encounters. The little atten-
tion paid to the crucial role of teachers in online settings results in
a restricted and moderate adaptation of the technologies in higher
education so far. In most higher education institutions, the new
technologies are used mainly for add-on functions and not for
substituting face-to-face encounters or for an intensive web-en-
hanced teaching (Bates & Sangra, 2011; Gradinarova, 2015;
Guri-Rosenblit, 2010; Guri-Rosenblit & Gros, 2011).
This article aims to highlight the importance of dening clearly
the roles of teachers in various online study environments, and
design appropriate training and support mechanisms for that
purpose. It starts with briey explaining why most students, par-
ticularly at the undergraduate level, are unable and/or unwilling
to study by themselves without expert teachers to guide their
knowledge construction, discusses the problematics of digital lite-
racy of teachers, examines the main reasons for the reluctance of
many academics nowadays to utilize the technologies more fully
in their teaching, and concludes by recommending some strategies
for incorporating more fully the huge array of the technologies’
capabilities in higher education learning/teaching encounters.
2 CAN STUDENTS STUDY BY THEMSELVES?
Many dene the young generation of students who were born
into the digital age as “digital natives”, “millennial students”
or “Homo Zappiens” (Dede, 2005; Oblinger, 2003; Ubachs et
al., 2017). Students interact and connect 24/7 with other peo-
ple through the use of social networks and text messaging, and
express their opinions in a variety of Internet platforms. Young
students are often described as possessing a natural inclination
towards studying through the web, as taking more responsibility
for their personal and educational activities, and as expecting to
use relevant digital tools when they study at university (Pappas,
2017; Ubachs et al., 2017).
*To whom correspondence should be addressed:
P.O.Box 808
1 University Road, Raanana 43107
The Open University of Israel
Israel
Guri-Rosenblit, S. / Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research 7(2) 2018. 93-97
94
Many assume that today’s students are willing and able to de-
sign their own study programs based on their interests, talents
and inclinations, and control their own study process. Some
even argue that students should be at the center of university de-
cision making, including curriculum design and pedagogy, and
should also be viewed as creators of knowledge (Alexander et
al., 2017).
However, there seems to be a disconnection between how stu-
dents experience and interact with technology in their personal
and social lives and how they use technology in their roles as
students. Many of the young students use the new technologies
for various purposes, such as downloading music les, chatting
with friends, playing complex video games and even preparing
fancy PowerPoint presentations, but most of them do not know
how, or are not willing to study extensively through the electronic
media (Guri-Rosenblit & Gros, 2011; Wineburg et al., 2016). It is
not sufcient for college students to simply know how to use the
range of mobile devices, software, and media-creation tools that
exist at a given time throughout their studies in a higher education
institution. They must also be able to acclimate to new digital
environments and develop habits that cultivate the continuous
mastery of new digital skills, given the rapid pace of technolo-
gical development (Alexander et al., 2017; Johnson et al., 2016;
Ubachs et al., 2017).
Part of the misconception related to the ability of students to
become autonomous learners and design their own programs in
the online era stems from the confusion between access to infor-
mation and knowledge construction. The Internet enables access
to boundless information of any nature, but there is an immense
difference between imparting information versus constructing
knowledge. The traditional role of educational establishments at
all levels, from kindergarten up to university, has been to assist
their students to construct knowledge through guidance, tutoring
and personal attention, and not merely to impart information.
Children could have studied at home from encyclopedias and
books, at the pre-digital era, instead of going to school, if the main
purpose of education was to acquire pieces of information. For
most students, accessible information does not turn automatically
into meaningful knowledge without the assistance of a teacher or
an expert (Andrade, 2015; Benson & Brack, 2009; Educational
Testing Service, 2009).
Novices in any educational framework, be it an elementary
school or undergraduates at a university, need the ongoing support
and guidance of expert teachers in the process of constructing
new information into meaningful knowledge (Guri-Rosenblit,
2009, 2010; Guri-Rosenblit & Gros, 2011). It follows that the dis-
course and research on e-learning should be complemented by
an e-teaching co-equal, focusing on the new roles that teachers
should acquire in order to control a digital literacy and be able to
manage effectively e-learning practices of their students.
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the US, a non-prot
group that is responsible for the SAT tests and a number of other
standardized tests, have worked since 2001 with educators, in-
formation technology experts, and leaders from higher education
institutions to develop a special iSkills assessment designed to
measure what it means to be literate in the digital age for stu-
dents and teachers (Educational Testing Service, 2009). In their
overview, they approach higher education institutions with the fo-
llowing question: “Your students can text message and download
music les, but can they solve problems and think critically in a
digital environment?” From their experience they conclude that
today’s students are part of a technology-savvy generation, but
they are often still at loss when it comes to using their critical
thinking and problem-solving skills in a digital environment; a
skill set identied as Information and Communication Technolo-
gy Literacy.
A report released recently by Stanford History Education
Group shows a dismaying inability by students to reason about
information they see on the Internet (Wineburg et al., 2016). The
report covered new literacy, as well as students’ ability to judge
Facebook and Twitter feeds, comments left in readers’ forums and
news sites, blog posts, photographs and other digital messages
that shape public opinion. The assessments were administered to
students across 12 states - 7,804 responses were received. Sam
Wineburg, the lead author of the report, indicates that although
many assume that because young people are uent in social media
they are equally perceptive about what they nd there, the n-
dings of this study showed the opposite to be true. Many students
were found to be inept and ill-prepared when it came to evalua-
ting information they encountered from the Internet and social
media sources. In a series of problem-based tasks, most students
were unable to differentiate basic elements of websites. They fai-
led to properly rationalize or explain their decisions concerning
information quality, accuracy or credibility. Even at Stanford
University, which is a highly selective elite university, 60% of
its students who participated in this study, failed to nd relevant
information and its sources.
In another recent study conducted by Temple University Libra-
ries, 500 librarians responded to a survey about rst year students’
digital research skills (Alexander et al., 2017). The ndings of
the survey indicated that most students were unprepared for co-
llege level studies. The lack of digital literacy was manifested
by overreliance on Wikipedia and Google, inability to evaluate
content, or dysfunctional lack of awareness (or unwillingness to
learn) about library research tools. Many librarians commented
that digital literacy education often fails because too little time is
allotted for it in college curriculum, many non-library faculty and
administrators deprioritize it, and students possess an overcon-
dence about their digital literacy skills upon entering college, a
fact that leads them to underestimate its value to their academic
success. It follows that learning effectively and efciently throu-
gh the electronic technologies requires training and study and
cannot be taken for granted as a natural attribute possessed by the
young generation. Furthermore, it highlights the important role of
teachers and experts in designing meaningful study experiences.
The development of the massive open online courses (MOOCs)
in the last decade exemplies the difculty of self-study. MOOCs
aim at distributing open online courses to hundreds of thousands,
and even millions of students (Bonk et al., 2015; Lane, 2017;
Swan et al., 2015). Clearly, MOOCs offered by reputable and
enthusiastic professors at elite universities might assist greatly
academics in higher education institutions worldwide in desig-
ning and upgrading their courses and might benet professionals
willing to update their knowledge in specic areas, or individuals
eager to gain knowledge on themes of interest to them. They
might also assist in providing a taste of introductory courses to
potential students who wish to explore possible areas of study
or be accredited on a limited basis in some academic programs.
But it seems quite unlikely that MOOCs can replace fully under-
graduate programs. As aforementioned, many students lack the
ability of constructing their programs and managing their stu-
dies independently. The dropout rates of students registering for
MOOCs are very high. Less than 10% complete MOOCs (Bonk
et al., 2015). It is quite evident that most students, particularly at
the undergraduate level, need substantive guidance, support and
counseling throughout their study process.
E-Teaching in Higher Education: An Essential Prerequisite for E-Learning
95
3 DIGITAL LITERACY OF TEACHERS
It is quite clear nowadays that for e-learning to become a domi-
nant learning pattern, technology alone will not sufce. Students
need digitally condent academics. The new technologies require
the academic faculty to assume new responsibilities and to deve-
lop a range of new skills. Many studies specify a long list of roles
which teachers are expected to undertake when utilizing the new
technologies in their teaching (Alexander et al., 2017; Bates &
Sangra, 2011; Benson & Brack, 2009; Educational Testing Ser-
vice, 2009; Ubachs et al., 2017; Wilson et al., 2004). Wilson and
his colleagues (Wilson et al., 2004), for instance, specied the
following tasks which teachers are expected to perform in online
teaching: Provide syllabi, instructional resources, communication
tools, and learning strategies; monitor and assess learning and
provide feedback, remediation, and grades; identify and resolve
instructional, interpersonal, and technical problems; and create a
learning community in which learners feel safe and connected and
believe their contributions are valid. Denitely a long list of res-
ponsibilities which most of the professors have not been prepared
for in their socialization processes into the academic world.
Currently, most universities are not employing widespread
strategies to address the digital literacy needs of their academic
faculty. Most academic faculty are not well-equipped to guide
students in developing the digital competencies they need. Inte-
restingly, in the report released by the Stanford History Education
Group, aforementioned, not only 60% of Stanford University
students failed to identify Internet sources, but also 40% of the
academic faculty failed to trace information to its source. These
were history scholars who were trained over decades to look clo-
sely and critically at texts. Yet, many could not navigate a simple
problem of web credibility (Wineburg et al., 2016).
In response to the growing need for digital literate teachers ca-
pable of preparing students with applied ICT literacy skills, the
Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the USA has developed a
new certication program entitled ICritical Thinking –Certi-
cation Powered by ETS (Educational Testing Service, 2009).
The ICritical Thinking certication features real-time simula-
ted, scenario-based tasks designed to measure teachers’ ability
to navigate, critically evaluate, and make sense of the wealth of
information available through digital technologies. The ICrit-
ical Thinking certication exam provides a clear understanding
of how teachers incorporate and integrate technologies whi-
le performing on an array of tasks, such as: dene (understand
and articulate the scope of an information problem in order to
facilitate the electronic search for information); access (collect
or retrieve information in digital environments); evaluate (judge
whether information satises an information problem by deter-
mining authority, bias, timeliness, relevance, and other aspects of
materials); manage (organize information to help you or others
nd it later); integrate (interpret and represent information using
digital tools to synthesize, summarize, compare, and contrast in-
formation from multiple sources); create (adapt, apply, design and
construct information in digital environments); and communica-
te (disseminate information tailored to a particular audience in
an effective digital format) (Educational Testing Service, 2009).
Based on the results of the exam, appropriate training programs
are tailored for teachers.
There is an urgent imperative for universities to invest in the
digital literacy of their academic faculty. Individual academic
faculty operating in a digital environment without any training
or support and without adequate resources are likely to become
disenchanted with both the product and the process, and this re-
action might naturally extend to their students. Such an outcome
only reinforces the innate skepticism regarding the benecial
applications of the digital technologies in academe.
Diverse digital environments should be created in the universi-
ties where academics can experiment with technology enhanced
learning tools and discuss the pedagogy underpinning their uses,
in order to be able to facilitate student engagement (Alexander et
al., 2017; Johnson et al., 2016, Wineburg et al., 2016). Obviously,
as technologies develop and new uses proliferate, the meaning of
digital literacy will continue to evolve. New tools and practices
will confront both teachers and students with the possible needs
for new skills.
4 RELUCTANCE OF ACADEMICS TO ADOPT
INTENSIVELY ONLINE TEACHING
Many studies point to the fact that the applications of the ad-
vanced technologies in higher education settings worldwide are
currently quite limited in higher education, and most online appli-
cations are used mainly as add-on functions to classroom teaching
(Andrews & Haythornthwaite, 2009; Bates & Sangra, 2011; Gu-
ri-Rosenblit, 2010; Power & Gould-Morven, 2011). There are
several major reasons for the reluctance of academic faculty to
utilize the wide spectrum of possibilities embedded in online tea-
ching: (1) Unbundling of the professional responsibility; (2) Work
overload and burnout; (3) Lack of ongoing support systems; and
(4) Intellectual property concerns.
4.1 Unbundling of the professional responsibility
One of the challenging demands of online teaching is associated
with the unbundling of the professional responsibility of teaching
in any given course into discrete tasks undertaken by an array
of academic, technical and administrative staff (Bates & Sangra,
2011; Guri-Rosenblit, 2010; Guri-Rosenblit & Gros, 2011). Wi-
thin conventional classroom teaching, academics are responsible
for the entire development and delivery process of their courses
- they plan the content of their course and its relevant literature,
they teach the course, decide on the nature of the relevant assig-
nments and exams, and are usually also responsible for checking
and grading the students’ work. In large classes they are often
supported by teaching assistants, who work under their close su-
pervision and guidance.
When the large distance teaching universities were established
in Europe in the early 1970s, Peters, the founding president of
FernUniversität in Germany, argued that academics in the new
distance teaching universities form a new species of professors,
and that the traditional roles of professors have been challenged
drastically: “It is a difcult task to switching from oral teaching to
teaching by means of the written word and by merging traditional
teaching techniques and modern technological ways of communi-
cation…The result is revolutionary in the sense that an academic
teaching tradition of several hundred years had to be changed ra-
dically at once” (Peters, 1997, 71).
The distributed teaching responsibility characterizes nowa-
days also comprehensive online teaching both in distance and
in campus-based universities. Academics who teach online are
frequently required to collaborate in a team framework with tu-
tors, editors, instructional designers, computer experts, graphic
production personnel in developing and delivering their courses.
Such working conditions differ immensely from the sole and
overall responsibility of professors of their courses which has
characterized the academic teaching for over 900 years. Clear-
ly, in a team framework, the professors’ academic freedom in
Guri-Rosenblit, S. / Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research 7(2) 2018. 93-97
96
teaching is reduced in comparison to their being responsible for
designing the overall learning/teaching process.
4.2 Work overload and burnout
An additional important reason explaining the reluctance of many
academics to engage in online teaching relates to the fact that to
design study programs for online teaching constitutes a compli-
cated and demanding task. Teaching online, or even preparing
some materials for online teaching, requires faculty to devote
much more time to the preparation of study materials than they
would for a face-to-face classroom presentation, both if they are
required to operate within a team framework or undertake (Bates
& Sangra, 2011; Larremendy-Joems & Leinhardt, 2006; Power &
Gould-Morven, 2011).
Many studies highlight the fact that academic faculty nd that
teaching online is time consuming, is more isolated and requires
specialized skills (Bates & Sangra, 2011; Guri-Rosenblit & Gros,
2011). Stanford professors who have offered Coursera courses in
2012 claimed that it took a lot of time and effort to get them up
and running. As Prof. Chris Turning, offering one of his courses
as a MOOC, put it: “This is clearly being propelled through a lot
of extra faculty sweat” (Johnston, 2012, 52).
The overload put on professors who teach extensively online
has been found in several studies to result in a higher burnout rate
as compared to professors that do not teach online. Hislop & Ellis
(2004) as well as Lacritz (2004) found that teaching online be-
comes a major workplace stressor leading to burnout symptoms.
4.3 Lack of ongoing support systems
There is plenty of accumulated evidence that indicate that many
professors most commonly use the new technologies for adminis-
trative tasks, such as record keeping, lesson plan development,
information presentation, basic information searches on the In-
ternet, but overall are less competent in using the technologies
compared to their students. Many academics report that they do
not feel condent in utilizing the advanced technologies, and this
lack of condence affects to a great extent the way in which the
learning/teaching processes are conducted. Ongoing and just-in-
time support systems have been recognized as crucial for the use
of technology in instructional delivery (Bates & Sangra, 2011;
Benson & Brack, 2009; Guri-Rosenblit, 2010; Johnson et al.,
2016; Ubachs et al., 2017).
4.4 Intellectual Property Concerns
Concerns about intellectual property rights may also be seen as
a barrier for the implementation of online teaching in academic
environments. ‘Copyright’ is a legal concept, enacted by govern-
ments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to
it, usually for a limited time (of fty to hundred years) after which
the work enters the public domain.
The development of the Internet, the digital media and the
computer networked technologies, have introduced numerous di-
fculties in enforcing copyright and prompted reinterpretation of
the meaning of ‘fair use’ in online teaching (Guri-Rosenblit, 2010;
Alexander et al., 2017). Academics confront several dilemmas in
relation to copyright laws in the digital millennium. On the one
hand, they are concerned as to losing intellectual property over
their course materials, some of which include innovative ideas
and original constructs. And on the other hand, the stringent co-
pyright laws which have been initiated and formulated in the last
decade as to the use of others’ works in their ongoing teaching, as
they do regularly in classroom teaching, deters some professors
from utilizing the new technologies in their teaching.
5 CONCLUDING REMARKS
The discourse on the implementation of the digital technologies in
higher education settings focuses mainly on students’ learning ra-
ther than on professors’ teaching (Alexander et al., 2017; Andrews
& Haythornthwaite, 2009; Bates & Sangra, 2011; Guri-Rosenblit,
2009, 2010; Harasim, 2000; Johnson et al., 2016; Pappas, 2017).
The little attention paid to the crucial role of teachers in online
settings results in a restricted and moderate adaptation of the te-
chnologies in higher education so far. In most higher education
institutions, the new technologies are used mainly for add-on
functions and not for substituting face-to-face encounters or for
an intensive web-enhanced teaching (Bates & Sangra, 2011; Gra-
dinarova, 2015; Guri-Rosenblit, 2010; Guri-Rosenblit & Gros,
2011). This article purported to highlight the most essential role
of teachers in e-learning environments. E-teaching is an essential
prerequisite for e-learning, particularly for undergraduates.
The lack of digital literacy is manifested today by both students
and teachers (Alexander et al., 2017; Wineburg et al., 2016). The
roles of teachers in an online environment differ meaningfully
from their traditional roles in a classroom setting. Most teachers
and professors do not possess nowadays a sufcient digital lite-
racy and do not utilize the wide range of capabilities which the
technology enables (Andrade, 2015; Benson & Brack, 2009; Edu-
cational Testing Service, 2009; Guri-Rosenblit & Gros, 2011).
To equip professors with tools to use the wide range of capabi-
lities enabled by the new technologies necessitates a conceptual
redenition of the teachers’ roles, a well-designed training, and
ongoing support systems for both students and teachers. The
implementation of new modes of teaching and learning requires
institutional strategies and frameworks (Alexander et al., 2017;
Bates & Sangra, 2011; Ubachs et al., 2017). It is of great impor-
tance to empower universities to operate efciently in the digital
age. Professors should get appropriate training that enhances
their digital literacy and provides them with useful tools to de-
sign courses that reect access to a rich spectrum of knowledge
sources and resources on the internet and in digital libraries. It is
of tremendous importance to allocate funds for teacher and staff
support services, and highlight good practices of blended learning
and teaching, open and exible education, and the effective use
of MOOCs and Open Educational Resources (Alexander et al.,
2017; Johnson et al., 2016).
In addition to the lack of digital literacy, there are additional
reasons for the restricted use of technologies in the academic
world: The unbundling of the professors academic responsibility
for the overall teaching process; work overload in preparing cu-
rricula suited for online learning, which leads also to some extent
to feelings of burnout; lack of ongoing support systems; and inte-
llectual property concerns (Lacritz, 2004; Guri-Rosenblit, 2010).
Teachers worldwide are used to operating as “soloists”, ha-
ving the overall responsibility for their courses from the initial
stage of plan ning the structure and pedagogics of the content
they pur port to teach, through the actual teaching to the evalua-
tion phase. Online courses usually necessitate the collaboration
with other professionals and/or colleagues, and the master y of
different course design skills (Andrade, 2015; Bates & Sangra,
2011; Benson & Brack, 2009; Educational Testing Service, 2009;
Gradinarova, 2015; Guri-Rosenblit, 2010; Hislop & Ellis, 2004;
Power & Gould-Morven, 2011; Wilson et al., 2004). Academics
will have to become in the future reconciled with collaborating
with other colleagues and professionals in designing materials
and in the teaching process. They will need to learn how to colla-
borate in a team framework with editors, instructional designers,
television producers, computer experts, graphic production
E-Teaching in Higher Education: An Essential Prerequisite for E-Learning
97
personnel, as well as with other colleagues in developing and
delivering their courses (Andrade, 2015; Wilson et al., 2004). At
the same time, teachers will have greater exibility to choose
the teaching styles better suited for their personal strengths and
individual preferences.
In order to ease the work overload in preparing cur ricula
suited for online learning, many initiatives emerged in the last
decade of joining forces between higher education institutions
and expert tech nology companies to prepare richly designed
courses for the use of many academic institutions. MOOCs and
Open Educational Resources are an example of such endeavors
(Kolowich, 2012; Lane, 2017; Swan et al., 2015). Policy makers
in higher education at different national jurisdictions allocate
special and generous funds to enhance collaboration between
higher education institutions to develop rich designed curricula
for the benet of a large audience of teachers (Alexander et al.,
2017; Ubachs et al., 2017). Well-articulated courses prepared by
a range of professionals might greatly ease the burden put on
professors to design by themselves materials suited for online
teaching.
In order to overcome the reluctance of many professors to
use extensively the digital technologies, there exists a burning
need to develop appropriate incentives and ongoing support
systems available both to students and professors in the lear-
ning/teaching process (Andrade, 2015; Bates & Sangra, 2011;
Guri-Rosenblit, 2010; Johnston, 2012). Already, some univer-
sities acknowledge the fact that online teaching and preparing
materials for online teaching involves a great investment of
time as compared to conventional teaching in classrooms.
Lowering the amount of teaching hours required by professors
in different higher education systems, as well as compensating
them by additional bonuses is of g reat importance for encoura-
ging professors to devote time for upgrading their digital skills
and par ticipating in the preparation of MOOCs and other digi-
tal course formats.
In addition to extra time allocation or monetary incenti-
ves, it is of par ticular importance to provide an ongoing and
just-in-time pedagogical and technical support for e-learning
and e-teaching at the institutional level. Many unexpected
problems pop up in the real time teaching/lear ning process. Al-
ready, many institutions acknowledge the need to recru it in the
future a broader range of personnel to complement academic
staff in order to implement the technologies more effectively in
their academic teaching (Alexander et al., 2017; Bates & San-
gra, 2011; Benson & Brack, 2009; Gradinarova, 2015; Johnson
et al., 2016).
Copyright issues in preparing rich study materials constitute a
problem both at the institutional and individual levels. Preparing
online courses, Open Educational Resources or MOOCs invol-
ves frequently great investments, which deters many academics
from participating in the design and development of such cour-
ses (Bonk et al., 2015; Guri-Rosenblit, 2010; Lane, 2017; Swan
et al., 2015). Within the academic community there are currently
many initiatives of widening the open source usage. Open source
frameworks enable to access instructional resources and acade-
mic courses in a plethora of areas. Side by side with widening the
open source movement, higher education institutions should as-
sist their academic faculty in handling copyright issues relevant
to the preparation of their courses.
In sum, e-teaching constitutes an essential prerequisite for
achieving efcient and fruitful e-learning in higher education,
particularly at the undergraduate level, and it provides multiple
domains of investigation that have not been explored yet.
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... Un último aspecto que es importante mencionar es la certificación de competencias. Al respecto se encontraron propuestas que lo proponen tanto como un elemento de interés desde el punto de vista del desarrollo profesional del profesorado, como un aspecto motivador (Denisova et al., 2020;Guri-Rosenblit, 2018;. En este sentido, Kullaslahti y otros (2019) proponen una estrategia de certificación de manera virtual a través de badges, un proyecto que busca crear y establecer un sistema nacional de insignias digitales para el reconocimiento de las competencias profesionales de los profesores. ...
... Infante-Moro et al., 2020;Palacios et al., 2020), o con un nivel muy bajo de concreción de las acciones y sus características(Guri-Rosenblit, 2018; Kullas-lahti et al., 2019).Los documentos que sí contenían propuestas desarrolladas se pueden categorizar en dos grandes grupos: (1) las que presentan enfoques más clásicos de formación expositiva tradicional; y (2) propuestas emergentes o exploratorias que presentan enfoques no tradicionales, basados en metodologías activas y colaborativas. Respecto a las propuestas con enfoque de formación más tradicional, se presentan a través de cursos y seminarios expositivos, ya sean presenciales o virtuales(Basantes-Andrade et al., 2020;Chou et al., 2017;Denisova et al., 2020;Guayara-Cuéllar et al., 2019;Pérez- Sánchez et al., 2017;Saalman, 2011). ...
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... Incorporation of VLs into distance learning requires students and teachers to have necessary digital literacy skills. Most students at college level and university undergraduate level are unable and/or unwilling to study by themselves without expert teachers to guide them through their courses (Guri-Rozenblit, 2018). This stresses the importance of developing faculty digital and media literacy. ...
... Literature review by Zacharia et al. (2015) identified potential types of guidance for supporting student inquiry when using virtual labs. Surprisingly, only a few studies explored teachers' perspectives on the use of science virtual labs for teaching and learning (Anisimova, 2020;Guri-Rozenblit, 2018;Hassan & Mirza, 2021;Makhmudov et al., 2020;Tsichouridis et al., 2019). Technology-enabled teaching and learning, when implemented effectively, has a positive impact on teaching and learning, but a negative impact when not implemented appropriately (Bull & Keengwe, 2019). ...
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The faculty of general education science courses at a Canadian post-secondary institution integrated Beyond Labz virtual science labs in their courses. Faculty teaching vocational science related courses tested this resource for future use. This qualitative study was conducted to explore faculty perceptions of the efficacy of the science virtual labs in terms of ease of use, designing hands-on activities, student engagement, and accessibility. The data used was collected via a focus group, surveys, meeting and interviews notes. The study found that learners and faculty may have different perceptions of the importance of virtual labs for the development of various skills especially digital skills and skills necessary to work in a real wet lab. Five themes emerged from the data related to addressing the needs of diverse learners and utilizing multiple affordances of virtual labs. We identified that, although science virtual labs were perceived as a useful tool for teaching and learning science, some barriers were identified by faculty such as the need for developing their digital literacy skills and initial training and institutional support when introducing new tools. We made recommendations for effective science virtual labs curriculum integration including the benefits of forming a community of practice. La faculté des cours de sciences de l'enseignement général d'un établissement postsecondaire canadien a intégré les laboratoires de sciences virtuels Beyond Labz dans ses cours. Les professeurs enseignant des cours liés aux sciences professionnelles ont testé cette ressource pour une l'utilise au future. Cette étude qualitative a été menée pour explorer les perceptions des professeurs sur l'efficacité des laboratoires virtuels de sciences en termes de facilité d'utilisation, de conception d'activités pratiques, d'engagement des étudiants et d'accessibilité. Les données utilisées ont été collectées via un focus group, des enquêtes, des notes de réunions et d'entretiens. L'étude a révélé que les apprenants et les professeurs peuvent avoir des perceptions différentes de l'importance des laboratoires virtuels pour le développement de diverses compétences, en particulier les compétences numériques et les compétences nécessaires pour travailler dans un véritable laboratoire humide. Cinq thèmes ont émergé des données liées à la réponse aux besoins d'apprenants divers et à l'utilisation des multiples possibilités des laboratoires virtuels. Nous avons identifié que, bien que les laboratoires virtuels scientifiques soient perçus comme un outil utile pour l'enseignement et l'apprentissage des sciences, certains obstacles ont été identifiés par les professeurs, tels que la nécessité de développer leurs compétences en littératie numérique et leur formation initiale et un soutien institutionnel lors de l'introduction de nouveaux outils. Nous avons fait des recommandations pour une intégration efficace du programme des laboratoires virtuels scientifiques, y compris les avantages de former une communauté de pratique.
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Nowadays, technology affects practically all activities in our life. The new digital technologies have permeated economy markets, politics, our workplaces, the ways we communicate with each other, our home activities, as well as operation of all levels of education from kindergarten to doctoral studies. The new technologies challenge higher education institutions worldwide to redefine their student constituencies, their partners and competitors and to redesign their research infrastructures and teaching practices. These multiple contrasting trends, and the visible gap between some sweeping expectations echoed in the 1990s as to the immense impacts of digital technologies on higher education environments and the actual reality, are discussed in this book.
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Discourse about the scholarship of teaching and learning appears to represent some views about higher education more than others. For example, disciplinary perspectives have been acknowledged, and ideas from critical theory and phenomenography have been presented, with the role of reflection receiving considerable attention. While approaches to e-teaching have been examined as examples of scholarship, there has been limited exploration of whether e-learning discourse has potential to extend the concept of scholarship. In this paper we ask: Can ideas about e-learning add to current understandings about the nature of the scholarship of teaching and learning? If so, what additional perspectives might they add? We begin by reviewing some conceptual and contextual dimensions of the scholarship of teaching and learning, before exploring the role that understandings from e-teaching and e-learning might play in developing the concept of scholarship. We use an academic professional development programme from our institution as an illustration.