Preferred Teaching Methods in Online Courses: Learners’ views
Online learning platforms with asynchronous discussion boards provide such a different setting from traditional face-to-face classrooms that they urges educators to investigate online teaching methods. The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to identity the recommended online teaching methods in asynchronous discussion boards, and second, to explore learners’ perceptions about the identified teaching methods and correlate the learners’ perceptions with learners’ characteristics, including computer skills, experiences, and activity ratios in online discussions. Bruner’s classification of two modes of analytical and narrative thought was used as a theoretical framework. Accordingly, two teaching methods, narrative and episodic, were identified. Descriptive survey and correlation designs were used to examine the perspectives of 30 purposefully selected online students through two sets of questionnaires with close and open-ended questions. Findings indicated that the narrative with a higher interactivity level, was the preferred method. The interactivity of online instructors and perceived success of courses were moderately correlated. Participants with stronger computer skills preferred teaching methods with lower interactivity. Some participants did not prefer a specific teaching method for performing various instructional tasks but rather preferred combining the narrative and episodic methods. Such findings inform educators about possible changes to improve the quality of online teaching.