Teaching vs Training

I used to have long conversations with a colleague about our online component at a former school. He insisted that the online education was okay for training but true teaching didn’t happen there. I couldn’t disagree with him given the state of our online courses. The teachers were supposed to be facilitators, but often just let the automated systems do their work. Learning through knowledge creation didn’t seem to even be an option.

That was awhile ago in a different school. What I have seen lately is that learning and teaching can definitely occur in an online foramt. But the student’s motivation is a key factor. Motivation and willingness to engage are what drives successful learning.

And teaching online requires that teachers give up their lecturing habits and start looking for other ways to build and scaffold learning, ie, video lectures, discussion prompts, promoting pair interactions. It has been hard, during COVID, to switch to online learning for students with lower motivation levels. But learning has happened and everyone has new skills now.

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