PBS TeacherLine Rolls Out 'Mastering the Skills of Online Teaching'


3/15/2007—PBS TeacherLine has launched a new course to train educators to work in virtual learning environments. The new course, "Online Facilitator Training I: Mastering the Skills of Online Teaching," is slated to roll out this spring.

PBS TeacherLine is an online resource that offers professional development services and other resources for teachers in K-12 and higher education. The new Online Facilitator Training I course is designed for educators in both higher ed and K-12 environments.

"Unlike face to face instruction, online learning requires a different skill set and pedagogical approach to guide participants through a course and build a collaborative online learning community," said Mary Kadera, PBS vice president of education, in a prepared statement. "Through the expertise we've gained over several years of training online facilitators for PBS TeacherLine courses, we were able to develop a high-quality, research-based course for all teachers who wish to lead any type of Web-based course."

PBS, in announcing the new course, sited numerous studies that show growth in online learning. In K-12, some 25 percent of schools offer some form of electronic learning, according tot he U.S. Department of Education, and some 8 million students are expected to participate in online learning in 2011. On the higher ed side, the company cited an Eduventures study that shows that about 1.5 million college students are enrolled in online courses.

The Online Facilitator Training course was co-developed with the International Society for Technology Education and uses a multimedia-based environment to "immerse teachers in the same e-learning model that their students will experience," according to PBS.

Highlights include:

  • The philosophy and pedagogy of e-learning;
  • Techniques for deepening online discussion;
  • Techniques for online, text-based communication;
  • Strategies to foster online community building and collaborative learning;
  • Strategies for delivering effective, Web-based formative assessment; and
  • Strategies for evaluating Internet resources.

The 45-hour course will debut this spring and will run March 28 to May 8. The course costs $525.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).