“For centuries, educators have provided distance education to learners (McVay & Rocker, 2007). The advent of the Internet transformed distance education into e-Learning, online learning, or any distance education delivered through a web-based system. William Horton provides a succinct working definition of e-learning: “E-learning is the use of information and computer technologies to create learning experiences” (Horton, 2006, p.1).

McVay and Roecker (2007) elaborate on this definition with the following addition, “E-learning is facilitated and supported through the use of information and communication technology, e-learning can cover a spectrum of activities from supported learning, to blended learning (the combination of traditional and e-learning practices), to learning that is entirely online” (p. 6). Learning is the critical element and objective regardless of the technology used.”

Responsive Design

Responsive Design allows web content to be easily engaged on many types of internet-connected devices.

“Responsive web design is a web design approach aimed at designing sites to provide an optimal viewing experience. The basic idea of designing a responsive website is to fit in the content, based on the size of the device without hiding any content and changing the view of layout. Since the visitors of different websites through handheld devices is increasing day by day, it has become necessary to design the websites with responsive layout. Responsive website designing has reduced the problem of resizing, panning, and scrolling and accessing them from any device. People can now access information easily with responsive websites because they respond to the needs of users and the devices they are using.”

Teaching Presence

“The Community of Inquiry model (Garrison, 2011) offers a framework for thinking about the core dimensions of effective online learning that can help demystify what it means to “teach” online. The model proposes a Venn diagram of three overlapping “presences” – cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. This teaching tip looks at the dimensions of teaching presence defined in the model.

Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, and Archer (2001) begin their foundational article about teaching presence in online learning using an analogy to teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. This comparison makes the point that, far from being an invisible and inactive actor, the online instructor plays a vital and multi-faceted role. This article defines teaching presence as: “the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” (p. 5). Each of these three functions, in turn, includes multiple activities.”

Universal Design for Learning

“Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.” 

“The UDL framework is grounded in three principles 

  1. Multiple means of representation – using a variety of methods to present information, provide a range of means to support 
  2. Multiple means of action and expression – providing learners with alternative ways to act skillfully and demonstrate what they know 
  3. Multiple means of engagement – tapping into learners’ interests by offering choices of content and tools; motivating learners by offering adjustable levels of challenge.”