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The Facilitating Professor: How Online Education is Changing Pedagogy

How Online Education is Changing PedagogyOne of the biggest challenges instructors face involves tailoring instruction to accommodate all students in a class. Each student has his own learning style, ideal pace and educational background. As a result, the techniques that work for one learner may not work for others. In traditional classroom settings, these issues can be especially problematic. Online education, on the other hand, can be customized for individual students, thus allowing educators to pinpoint and utilize each student's moments of cognitive dissonance.

About Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance occurs when a student holds two conflicting beliefs. When cognitive dissonance arises, students resolve it through learning. Students participating in the same lesson may reach this state at different times, and it's up to the instructor to determine when cognitive dissonance has occurred in each learner. In the traditional classroom, monitoring each student's progress is a nearly impossible task. In online education, however, determining the point of cognitive dissonance isn't as difficult. Online learning also offers several other advantages over the traditional classroom instruction.

Benefits of Online Learning

  • Online education pinpoints cognitive dissonance. By its very nature, online learning requires instructors to evaluate students on a regular basis. These frequent evaluations help instructors to identify cognitive dissonance.
  • Online courses identify struggling students. Students often get lost in the shuffle of the traditional classroom. The individualized evaluation that can occur with online programs identifies students' weak points, allowing instructors to provide support when necessary.
  • Online instruction is evolving. As universities learn more about the benefits of individualized instruction, they're developing new methods of delivering customized lessons to students. At AIU, for example, course material is developed for students using M.U.S.E., a customized content delivery system.

More about M.U.S.E

M.U.S.E is a specialized system that provides students with lessons tailored to their needs and preferences. With M.U.S.E., students can choose instructional methods based on their learning styles. Visual learners can watch videos and view images, while students who prefer hands-on learning can use interactive tools to explore the concept of interest.

In the past, educators applauded online programs for their convenience and accessibility. However, online education has more to offer than just flexibility. Online instruction may allow instructors to evaluate students more frequently, tailor instruction to students' individual learning styles and provide support when students are struggling. Instead of becoming bored or falling behind in a traditional classroom, students enrolled in online programs can be engaged, in control and thriving.

This article is presented by American InterContinental University (AIU). Contact us today if you’re interested in an opportunity to develop knowledge and relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from AIU.