For me, one of the biggest differences between f2f and online learning is the flexibility that online learning can offer. With online learning, students can access their learning and participate at times that work better with their schedule. Everyone has different processing times and ways of absorbing learning content. With face to face, there are more limitations to processing time as classes are on set schedules. Of course, certain subjects also lend themselves better to online learning whereas other subjects really still need the face to face environment. Blended learning is also another option.
I have done some online learning and am seeing a trend towards more and more online learning. I did my whole M.Ed online because I wanted to continue working full time. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. We had set online meetings for some of the courses as well as deadlines for assignments and participation but it was doable while working full time. In 2012, I got my first taste of online learning from the teacher’s side in that I was part of a team designing content and activities for Moodle courses for my new immigrant ESL students. It was a lot of fun creating quizzes and activities for students to do which would supplement their in class learning. Language is one of the subjects though, that I feel wouldn’t work if it strictly online. I’m also now working on helping to put together Moodle courses for teacher training.
I’ve been working in the English as a Second Language field for the past 5 years, mostly in the non-profit sector. I am trying to venture out of toe non-profit and ESL worlds as there doesn’t seem to be much stability because we are always dependent on funding. In my recent job hunting, I have been looking more at training jobs or instructional design related jobs and all of the job postings I’ve seen have online learning components. I think this is because it’s easier for people to access from wherever they are working. Logistically, it’s also a lot more convenient and cost efficient as no one needs to travel and everyone already has an Internet connection at work. I’m really looking forward to learning more about how to make online learning more engaging and the different ways people are using it in different contexts.