Does Online Education Need a Special Pedagogy?

Peter Serdyukov


The extensive integration of information technologies in teaching and learning in the 21st century has initiated a dramatic change of educational paradigm. To a large extent this change was caused by the online education. A rapid growth of online university programs raises a number of new pedagogical, psychological and social issues. Online learning creates a learning environment that, compared to traditional, classroom-based education, is less personal, more independent, often fragmented, rarely systemic, distributed in space and time, and dependent on the learner rather than on the teacher. Many problems with online education (high attrition rate, orientation at highly skilled and highly motivated people, among other issues (The Trouble with Online College, 2013), indicate that one of its major challenges is not the technology itself or its classroom applications, but the lack of sound, research-based theoretical framework as the foundation of quality online learning. A comprehensive and effective educational theory is thus crucial for the quality education. This article makes an argument for such a theory and offers a model of online pedagogy for higher education with a focus on instruction and instructor, student autonomy, socialization through networking and collaboration in the online learning environment.


online education, pedagogy, web-based learning, teaching and learning, student-centered approach, convenience, socialization, networking, communication, collaboration

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