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Robert A.Cole, Ed. Issues in Web-Based Pedagogy: A Critical
Primer.Wesport, CN: Greenwood Press, 414 pages, 2000. ($95)

Thinking of teaching an on-line course?  If so, you’ll find the
answers to most of your questions plus some you haven’t
thought of asking in this book, a compilation of  papers by on-line
professors. Topics range from the philosophy underlying on-line
teaching to the practical aspects the teacher faces such as the
problems disabled students have with on-line learning and how
to solve them. The articles begin by disabusing you of the
assumption that teaching an on-line class is a simple matter of
translating a face-to face course to on-line format. Studies are cited that
show that planning an on-line course takes significantly more time than
teaching face to face and that on-line instructors spend significantly more
time working one to one
with students. The extra time occurred even when instructors were given a
three pronged preparation program including shadowing an existing on-line
professor.
Although on line teaching has the potential of providing quality teaching to
more students, today's experts caution that instructors should limit their
initial course to ten students.
Eventually the experts believe that on=line teaching will make academic
departments obsolete.

Hopefully,  on-line instruction will become easier so that instructors won’t
become
discouraged and abandon the idea as quickly as they have other
new teaching strategies.
(Copies of this book can be ordered with a credit card by calling
1-800-225-5800)
Martha Maxwell.