Courses offered through UCLA Extension are tailored for adult learners and are often taught by working professionals. At UCLA Extension, the most effective learning occurs when design of the course incorporates the work, life, and educational experiences of both students as well as the instructor. This is true for fully online and hybrid courses, as well as those conducted in more traditional formats. However, there is a fundamental difference between in-person instruction and online instruction: Teaching online leans even more heavily on dialogue between the students and the instructor, and among students themselves. Through the use of discussion boards, group assignments, peer review activities, and web conferencing tools, students have the expectation and opportunity to bring their professional, educational, and personal experiences to bear on the learning events of their classes, with you as the instructor facilitating these interactions and activities for peer-to-peer learning.
The online model requires both the instructor and students to take active roles. Instead of relying heavily on lectures and expecting rote memorization, you will find yourself acting as a facilitator of games, debates, small group discussions and short written exercises that engage students directly. You may even find yourself suggesting outside reading tailored to your students’ interests you will have come to know. Some of the basic elements found to be effective in teaching an online course are equally applicable to the traditional format class. These elements are presented below as a sequence of expectations: