Online Pedagogy

Our Students Online, W.16

This week included a lot of reading I really enjoyed with. These moments are a good time to analyse and draw conclusions. Sometimes just to reflect about this experience, thinking about these surprising results, or trying to find what to do if?.

As Ko&Rossen say in the beginning of Chapter 10: Preparing Students for Online Learning. “learning online can be as exasperating for the student as for the instructor”.

Jakob Nielsen, College Students on the Web (2010)Nielsen

I did like this article, especially in relation with the myths about Student Internet Use:

  • Myth 1: Students Are Technology Wizards
    Students are comfortable with technology: But, except for computer science and other engineering students, students are not technology experts — or “digital natives”.
  • Myth 2: Students Crave Multimedia and Fancy Design
    Students don’t go for fancy visuals and they definitely gravitate toward one very plain user interface: the search engine. They are strongly search dominant.
  • Myth 3: Students Are Enraptured by Social Networking
    Yes, virtually all students keep one or more tabs permanently opened to social networking services like Facebook. But that doesn’t mean they want everything to be social.

Matt Richtel (NYTimes), Growing up Digital, Wired for Distraction (2010)

This article is about the distractions and time-wasters that students have always faced. But in this case is related to computers and cellphones, as a new challenge to focusing and learning.

The article mentions several descriptive examples that illustrate this problem.

Beyond the journalistic aspects, my attention was drawn to the importance of rest periods for brain activity. Brain studies suggest to researchers that periods of rest are critical in allowing the brain to synthesize information, make connections between ideas and even develop the sense of self.

The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2010ECAR

A really detailed study about the using of IT in the academic activity. I want to emphasize some points from the 2010 study that caught my attention:

  • It’s was interesting to confirm the increase of students between 30-50 years old and older, who have used social networking web sites. The percentage of students in the range 18-30 years old increases less and the students between 18-24 years old maintained the same percentage.
  • Another thing I considered interesting but not surprising is that despite the high use of social networks among students, and some integration into their academic experience with classmates, just about 30% had accepted university instructors as friends or contacts.
  • This study shows an overestimated student perception about their adequate preparedness on using IT in academic courses.

The 2012 study provides an excellent summary, with especially revealing aspects:

  • Importance of the combination of blending modalities and engaging learners.
  • Portable devices as individual platforms.
  • IT as a critical component for the academic success and the professional future.
  • Use of multiple communications options.

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ are relevant for my courses

  • What are your policies for online tutoring?
    Detailed descriptions of our online tutoring policies are available on our online tutoring policies page. Basically, we respond best to short, specific questions.
  • How and where do I submit my coursework?
    You will receive detailed instruction at the start of your module. Information about your coursework and submission methods.
  • How do I get feedback on my work?
    Students are given feedback on the outcome of their performance in coursework and examinations. The information, comments and advice should encourage you to reflect critically on your work and help you to develop academically.
  • How can I prepare for online study?
    Depending on your experience of higher education, we offer a range of resources to help you to prepare. Your study materials will tell you if you need to do any preparatory work before your course or module starts.
  • What support will I get whilst I am studying?
    You will have a tutor. Your tutor will be your first contact for help with any study issues. Tutorial support can include tutorials by phone or by computer conferencing. Your tutor will support you by:
    – guiding you in your studies and helping you to understand the content of the module
    – giving tutorial support
    – giving you advice on setting up a study group with other students
    – providing constructive feedback on your assignments
    – monitoring your progress on the module


By Jaime Oyarzo Espinosa

Jaime Oyarzo Espinosa -
Honorary Professor of Research University of Alcalá, Spain
Cátedra UNESCO de Educación Científica para América Latina y El Caribe EDUCALYC
Professor, Master in Experimental Sciences and Technology, National University of Córdoba, Argentina
Boletín de noticias eLearning
Blog (Spanish):
Blog (English):

Awards for educational innovation, member of research groups and scientific councils of conferences and scientific journals.
Instructional design experience, advisor in virtual universities, curricular redesign and university online strategy.
European Union and European Universities projects for Ethiopia and Latin America. Coordination of workshops and courses in instructional design and digital teacher competencies.
I am passionate about the integration of technology and the contribution to a paradigm shift in education.
I maintain a network of contacts with specialists in different areas and countries. I consider education as a key factor for the economic development of developing countries and regions.

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