Four kinds of online courses II

A previous post stated the first challenge for an online college instructor is to make clear to students which kind of online course they are running.  The post identified 4 kinds of online courses.  This diagram arrays them across two dimensions.  The gaps suggest some additional possibilities as well as provide a schema to think about varieties of face to face courses.


About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012,

2 Responses to Four kinds of online courses II

  1. On the y axis, I would swap the “entirely self-paced” and “activities and assignments each week” elements. That way as you go up the axis the intensity increases which then also relates to the x axis arrangement. Also, thinking about it would seem that the main tensions I’ve encountered are between students who are expecting 1 or 2 and are end up in a situation that is more like 3 or 4.

  2. The Y-axis order has now been switched.

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