A Case Study of the Relationship Between Socio-Epistemological Teaching Orientations and Instructor Perceptions of Pedagogy in Online Environments

February 12, 2007

As part of an evaluation of an ongoing initiative to train faculty to teach online, semistructured interviews were conducted to identify areas of need and faculty satisfaction. The data indicated that the majority of faculty placed a high value on technical and pedagogical support. However, another very surprising finding emerged from the data; a small number of faculty viewed technological tools as a replacement for pedagogy. To unearth why these individuals held this belief, interview data, ethnographic reporting and document analysis were triangulated in a case study. The results indicated that this phenomenon was likely related to teaching and learning orientations, as manifested in course goals, objectives and activities. This paper presents the study’s findings and concludes with a discussion of the impact on best practice in online learning environments and directions for further research.

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