Transitioning from Traditional Courses to Technologically Supported Classrooms
This paper focuses on the authors’ experiences teaching on Ohio University’s Learning Network (OULN), which uses interactive television and real-time face-to-face interaction as a distanceeducation (DE) delivery tool. One of the authors is a sociology professor, and the other is her former student and an experienced OULN system operator. The transition to DE from a traditional, less technological approach presents numerous challenges as well as opportunities. This paper compares the semester-long progress of two different sociology courses that used the OULN. It presents an analysis of each class’s strengths and weaknesses, along with qualitative data based on interviews with each class’s students, as recorded in a diary that the authors kept throughout the semester on the progress of each class. One class experienced more success than the other, which presented numerous teaching challenges. The paper concludes by offering guidance for integrating traditional teaching methods, including group work, into DE environments.