Internet Delivery of Instruction: Issues of Best Teaching Practice, Administrative Hurdles, and Old-Fashioned Politics
This paper describes the preparation and execution of an economics and a fine arts course, each of which was offered in parallel to an on-campus classroom group and an off-campus Internet group. The authors address the pedagogical, administrative, and political issues that must be resolved before one can legitimately offer a course of study to an Internet audience that the instructor will never physically see. Pedagogical issues are paramount if the goal is to achieve best teaching practice. In addition there are numerous administrative hurdles to resolve where admission officers, registrars, and governing boards are working from a traditional mindset, with rules and guidelines based on local geography and physical presence. Political issues include student attitudes toward distance learning, faculty-colleague and administrator perceptions of "legitimate teaching activity," and valuations of course.