Competencies for Online Teaching. Teaching online is different than teaching in person. Yet, many of those teaching online are classroom teachers with no formal training on how to teach effectively. This article looks at ideas for identifying compentencies needed for online teaching with ideas for connecting these to training and certification.
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Information technology is changing the way people live and learn. Not surprisingly, information technology (IT) is also transforming the nature of teaching. These remarks provide a framework for thinking about such changes and exploring work in progress that is relevant to the development of competencies specific to teaching online (i.e., teaching occurring outside a traditional classroom, typically in a virtual classroom facilitated by use of the Internet).
COMPETENCE, COMPETENCIES AND CERTIFICATION
Competence refers to a state of being well qualified to perform an activity, task or job function. When a person is competent to do something, he or she has achieved a state of competence that is recognizable and verifiable to a particular community of practitioners. A competency, then, refers to the way that a state of competence can be demonstrated to the relevant community. According to the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (IBSTPI), a competency involves a related set of knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable a person to effectively perform the activities of a given occupation or function in such a way that meets or exceeds the standards expected in a particular profession or work setting (Richey et al., 2001). The structure and assessment of competencies may differ from one community of practice to another and even within a community. To facilitate a common understanding of competencies in the\context\of online and distributed learning some specifications have been elaborated (IMS, 2001). Typically, a competency is divided into specific indicators describing the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes and context of performance.