Limitations and Misconceptions | Origin: EL113

This is a general discussion forum for the following learning topic:

Active Learning in an Online Environment --> Limitations and Misconceptions

Post what you've learned about this topic and how you intend to apply it. Feel free to post questions and comments too.

It appears an issue in online learning, especially at the undergraduate level, students expect to be fed the information from the instructor and simply answer what is on the test moving on to the next course.  The thought of actually learning the material and developing an expertise if you will does not seem to be a goal of many students.  It could be a result of how they were taught in high school, or our current ‘quick fix’ society.   Another thing is students seem to have an aversion to correction especially in written assignments.   It is almost as the expectation is whatever is submitted should be considered acceptable by the instructor.

The expectations of higher education have changed over time and the ability to think critically and develop a philosophy of life have taken a backseat to the goal of obtaining the degree to satisfy a checkmark in the hiring or promotion process, and the overall goal of seeking higher education is now to increase a person’s earning potential.  The actual journey itself is not seen as valuable by many learners.


A key take away was gamification . The purpose gamifying an eLearning course is to encourage learners to engage in desired learning behavior by taking advantage of the human psychological predisposition towards gaming.Gamification is meant to assign real benefits for the learner, the training department, and the organization as a whole. Hence, your gamification-thinking must go beyond just developing appoint system where points are collected for the sake of collecting badges. Though this can be a good start and leverage one’s competitive drive, it should be seen as a means to an end (the initial boost) and not an end in itself. 

When I read the statement "Nothing can ruin an online course environment quicker than when the technology doesn’t work on the instructor’s side." made me realize that making sure the instructor is proficient in the technology used for a course, is just as important and the students understadnig. We constantly highlight that a student's understanding is key to their succsess but we forget that the instructor is just as important in this equation! 

Yes having the technology not work can really throw the who lesson plan off, always checking it ahead of time and having plan A and B is a must. 

Online students must take responsibility for their own learning when taking a course which uses active learning techniques. Active learning courses are not for students who want an easy, passive learning online environment. ALong with the instructor making sure everything is working on there side, will help ensure the students success

Online instructors and instructors that spend hours on the course content do to often go unnoticed. Incentives are great motivators for time and effort.


Effective and reliable technolgies are necessary for and on line courses

When your online lesson doesn't work it is very frustrating for the instructor and students.I always have a back up plan for this reason. 


You must have a backup plan.


When/if technology fails have a backup plan. Using active learning the students can and will learn at their own pace. This may be difficult if a student is far behind the class. 

I believe that instructors and institutions need to be aware of generational, economic and technological barriers. Institutions need to acknowledge their instructors and ensure they have adequate technology to properly provide students with a active fun and engaging learning experience.


I learned that You must have a backup plan.

I learned that online students need access to student programs outside the regular 9am-5pm hours. 


Seth Soronnadi

Learned that "It would also be a positive practice to incorporate the process for these new instructional practices into the instructor action plans or salary increase, tenure and/or promotion activities. "  

Active Learning can be done within an online course, it may take longer to plan. Online access for students should be available any hour.


From 2010 – 2014 I made my living teaching online, and loved it in all sorts of ways but hated the failing technology that all the planning in the world could not overcome. Students made cartoons of me cursing the technology. By 2016 I gave up on it in frustration. 

After a four-year hiatus, it is now so much better!

What I got from this portion of the course is that this new medium may not meet old expectations, not only of teachers, but students. For teachers, lots of planning, but also giving students a vision that this will be to their advantage. 



From my perspective as a part time CTE instructor at variouscommunity colleges for many years and now a full time instructor for the last 5 years, the following statement is imperative: "Online students must take responsibility for their own learning when taking a course which uses active learning techniques. Active learning courses are not for students who want an easy, passive learning online environment." Although I agree with this statement it should be noted that this applies to traditional methods as well as online or hybrid methods of teaching.  We in the CTE teaching field typically use labs which require projects to be completed.  Most instructors do not like to "hand hold" or "spoon feed" student information but rather allow students to experiment a bit with stratagies to complete the assignment or project.  This often times requires more time however the overall effect is that the student benefits since the student feels a sense of accomplishment when the project is completed and to print specifications.

The instructor should explain clearley to the students how communication with them will be forthcoming, be it through announcements or e-mails, so that the students don't feel overwhelmed or "badgered" by the instructors constant attempts at communication with them. This should be done at the outset of the class, during the introduction.


The classes I teach are visual working with software on the computer. The students are pretty much engaged. The complete a task after I demo it or make a tutorial. So many of the points in this particular lesson do not relate to my digital art courses.