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Education Theory for Online Learning

Reflection of Learning Journey

Teach and learn online is an emerging concept that has led to an increase in the size of classrooms by incorporating ICT in teaching and learning. Teaching online entails the development of instructions for students and delivering them through technological gadgets. Teaching and learning online has disseminated intellectual development for students across the world by eliminating the barriers of time and distance. Teaching and learning online has led to the elimination of some principles in the traditional teaching theories to facilitate the propagation of new theories that are focused on instilling cognitive development in students. Many theories have been adopted to facilitate effective e-learning (Anderson, 2008). For instance, Knowles’s 5 adult learning theory has been applied to e-learning, whereby teachers develop learning platforms that offer maximum autonomy on the part of the student. The theory also enables the development of a learning system with minimum instructions (Brewer & Headlee, 2011).

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Theories like the community of inquiry and online presence can be applied to an online environment characterized by multiculturalism and diversity among students. The theories can be effectively placed in an online learning context by developing learning objectives, and teaching strategies that are oriented toward embedding literal development in the associated social context (Kanuka, 2008). Teachers should acquaint themselves with the nature of diversity in their audience when using online teaching platforms, to develop learning objectives that attain parallelism with the cultural requirements of the students (Ally, 2008). Teachers should facilitate an interplay between the various theories to enhance the learning capabilities of their students. For instance, teachers should tailor the curriculum to fit in a model that fits the requirements of students with different levels of experience with the intended concepts.

Facilitation enhances the development of learning relationships between the teachers and the students. Student engagement is a function of the development of curiosity to learn, based on the realities of the respective students, and it fosters the need for the student to interact with the teacher. Student engagement is assumed to be preconditioned in a traditional learning setting, but in the online learning platforms, it has to be generated through facilitating students with learning strategies that trigger the curiosity to learn more ideas. This is facilitated through the development of a well-designed and conducive learning environment in the online platforms. Some of the techniques used to attain this include developing learning environments that are easy to navigate and ensure the teaching strategies are aligned toward achieving the learning objectives (Nagel & Kotze, 2010). This implies that e-learning should emphasize on topics that facilitate problem-solving for diverse issues that the learners encounter regularly.

Most students that are enrolled in an online learning course use their computers to access their classwork, and they also use the internet to research on the relevant material. The development of this form of learning has attracted technology developers to come up with innovative tools to make the e-learning experience easy and enjoyable. Innovations like blackboard 9’s have made it easier for teachers to develop interactive online lessons for their students. The tools facilitate access to contextual help while learning (Blackboard 9, 2015). Teachers in online learning facilities face a major challenge in covering the entire content of a course in their instructions, but technological tools like blackboard 9’s have enabled them to break down the course content into interactive lessons that offer comprehensive information on different topics. For instance, teachers find it difficult to provide online lessons on technical courses, but technology has made it possible to provide the same.


Ally, M. (2008). Foundations of Education Theory for Online Learning. In T. Anderson (Ed.), Theory and practice of online learning (pp. 15-44). Alberta, Canada: AU Press.

Anderson, T. (2008). Towards a Theory of Online Learning. In T. Anderson (Ed.), Theory and practice of online learning (pp. 45-74). Alberta, Canada: AU Press.

Blackboard 9: What’s new. (2015). Web.

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Kanuka, H. (2008). Understanding E-Learning Technologies-In-Practice Through Philosophies-In-Practice. In T. Anderson (Ed.), Theory and practice of online learning (pp. 91-118). Alberta, Canada: AU Press.

Nagel, L., & Kotze, T. G. (2010). Supersizing e-learning: What a CoI survey reveals about teaching presence in a large online class. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1), 45-51.

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