The Emerging Learning Design Journal

Document Type



An axiom of online education is that teachers should not mechanically translate existing courses into an online format. If so, how should new or ongoing courses be reshaped for the online environment and why? The answers come both from the opportunities offered by the structure of online education and from a body of research from cognitive psychology and cognitive science that provides insight into the way people actually learn. Freed from the time and space constraints inherent in face-to-face higher education settings as well as the deeply ingrained expectations of both teachers and students, online education provides a more flexible palette upon which evidence-based ideas about learning can be integrated into course structure and design. As a result, online education can potentially deliver learning experiences and outcomes that are superior to typical face-to-face classrooms. The ability to integrate experiences that stimulate real, long lasting learning represents one of online education’s greatest potential benefits.



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