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What is Online Education, anyway?

The dream of landing an online teaching job was mine. But, much has evolved since I first starting teaching online! Now, there here are many and constantly emerging models of online education. Fully online indicates that all active instruction, testing, assignments, and discussions take place online, asynchronously. Blended learning or hybrid learning is a combination of online study outside of class with face-to-face interactions with a teacher in the same physical space. In a face-to-face web-enabled model, students meet with their teacher in a virtual classroom like Zoom, Teams, or Blackboard Collaborate (Bustamante, 2020). To support each model of online education, there are tools utilized by students and teachers. These may include, but are not limited to, a learning management system, collaboration tools, web 2.0 technology, and augmented or virtual reality.

As early as 2017, there were over 6 million students in an online course at the post-secondary level. Of the over 19 million total students enrolled, this was approximately a third. Furthermore, by 2019, 46% of all faculty reported having taught an online course (Bustamante, 2020).

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