The challenges of learner-centered teaching in virtual classrooms
Abstract: Virtual classrooms created by web conferencing software such as Blackboard Collaborate and Adobe Connect are used to engage distributed learners in interactive live online learning. Learner-centered teaching approaches provide a framework for creating effective learning experiences in these complex and demanding multi-modal environments. This paper explores some of the challenges of being learner-centered in a virtual classroom, including creating a learning community, giving control to learners and designing learner-centered activities. It draws on the findings of recent research by the author which explored learners’ and teachers’ experiences of live online learning, together with other published studies. Practical suggestions to help facilitators plan and implement learner-centered strategies are provided and areas for further exploration identified.