Foundations of Virtual Instruction

About this course: This course provides teachers with the foundation for understanding the movement towards virtual instruction. It introduces fundamental knowledge needed by teachers to succeed in a technology-dependent, instructional environment. You will explore the history of online learning and understand how a variety of delivery models are evolving in the K-12 environment, ranging from completely online to hybrid or blended classrooms. We will discuss how the programs work and who they serve, addressing some basics about equity issues, access and school funding, as well as ethical and legal issues that support and challenge the models. Upon completion of the course, you will understand what it takes to transition from teaching in the classroom to providing virtual instruction. Upon completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Describe the history of online learning models 2. Identify current virtual instruction models and who offers them 3. Explain how virtual instruction models have evolved and why 4. Describe common features of synchronous and asynchronous technologies 5. Discuss basic ethical and legal issues faced by schools

Created by:   University of California, Irvine

Basic Info
Course 1 of 5 in the Virtual Teacher Specialization.
Commitment2-4 hours/week
How To PassPass all graded assignments to complete the course.
User Ratings
Average User Rating 3.8See what learners said
Week 1: History of Virtual Education
Welcome to the course! Begin by reading the Course Overview and familiarizing yourself with our course. This week we will explore the history of virtual education, as well as the different models of virtual education. Our guest speaker, Dr. O'Neal, will discuss the "Flipped Classroom" and how this pedagogy can enhance teaching and learning.

7 videos4 readings
  1. Reading: About this Course
  2. Video: Meet Cindy Carbajal
  3. Reading: Pre-Course Survey
  4. Reading: Week 1 Roadmap & Objectives
  5. Video: Week 1 Lesson 1: Introduction and Definitions
  6. Video: Week 1 Lesson 2: History of Online Learning
  7. Video: Week 1 Lesson 3: Current Models of Virtual Education
  8. Video: Week 1 Lesson 4: Evolving Models of Virtual Education
  9. Video: Week 1 Lesson 5: Virtual Programs and Organizations
  10. Video: Week 1 Interview: The Flipped Classroom
  11. Reading: Week 1 Optional Resources
Graded: Week 1 Quiz
Week 2: Synchronous and Asynchronous Technologies
In week two, we will examine the features of synchronous and asynchronous technologies. Our guest speaker, Melissa Loble, will share how to select and leverage technology. She will also discuss how to best utilize social media to meet the needs of different learners.

5 videos2 readings
  1. Reading: Week 2 Roadmap and Objectives
  2. Video: Week 2 Lesson 1 Terms
  3. Video: Week 2 Lesson 2: Synchronous Instructional Platforms
  4. Video: Week 2 Lesson 3: Learning Management Systems
  5. Video: Week 2 Lesson 4: Other Online Learning Tools
  6. Video: Week 2 Interview: Social Media and Gamification
  7. Reading: Week 2 Optional Resources
Graded: Week 2 Quiz
Week 3: Transitioning from the Classroom to the Virtual Environment
This week we will examine the similarities and differences between teaching in the classroom and teaching online. Our guest speaker, Racquel Nedden, will discuss the benefits of online education for accommodating and meeting the needs of at-risk and special needs students. You will also have the opportunity to submit your assignment and evaluate three of your classmates' work.

5 videos3 readings
  1. Reading: Week 3 Roadmap and Objectives
  2. Video: Week 3 Lesson 1: Similarities and differences to teaching in the classroom
  3. Video: Week 3 Lesson 2: The changing field of curriculum development and the role of outside vendors
  4. Video: Week 3 Lesson 3: How different and evolving virtual delivery models affect instruction
  5. Video: Week 3 Lesson 4: The Role of a Virtual Teacher
  6. Video: Week 3 Interview: Accomodations for Special Needs Students in the Virtual Classroom
  7. Reading: Week 3 Optional Resources
  8. Reading: About the Assignment
Graded: Assignment: Lesson Plan for Online Delivery
Graded: Week 3 Quiz
Week 4: Equity and Access, Funding, and the Law
In week four, we will discuss virtual school funding options, the responsibility of online programs to consider equity and access, and the legal issues that virtual schools face. Our guest speaker, Chris Long, will explain the concept of QFT (Question, Formulation Technique) and explain why teaching students to formulate their own questions can increase students engagement and empower students to be life long learners.

4 videos2 readings
  1. Reading: Week 4 Roadmap and Objectives
  2. Video: Week 4 Lesson 1: School Funding
  3. Video: Week 4 Lesson 2: Equity and Access
  4. Video: Week 4 Lesson 3: The Law
  5. Video: Week 4 Interview: Using the Question Formulation Technique
  6. Reading: Week 4 Optional Resources
Graded: Week 4 Quiz
Week 5: The Future of Virtual Education
In this last week of the course we'll consider the future of online education and how new technologies are changing the landscape of K-12 education. 

3 videos4 readings
  1. Reading: Week 5 Roadmap
  2. Video: Week 5 Lesson 1: Growth of Online Learning
  3. Video: Week 5 Lesson 2: Trends and Forecasts
  4. Video: Week 5 Lesson 3: Continued Learning
  5. Reading: References
  6. Reading: Message from UC Irvine Extension
  7. Reading: Post-Course Survey
Graded: Final Quiz
How It Works
Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.
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University of California, Irvine
Since 1965, the University of California, Irvine has combined the strengths of a major research university with the bounty of an incomparable Southern California location. UCI’s unyielding commitment to rigorous academics, cutting-edge research, and leadership and character development makes the campus a driving force for innovation and discovery that serves our local, national and global communities in many ways.

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