Classroom Space to Cyberspace: Benefits and Challenges of Developing and Delivering an Online, Rigorous Initial Teacher Certification Program (Report) - Childhood Education
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As Schools and Colleges of Education work to increase enrollment and retention of teacher candidates, providing courses through distance education has become a practical necessity and a competitive reality. Students have grown to expect that schools will accommodate their busy schedules and thus may "shop around" for convenient programs that don't require them to drive to campus or to sit in a classroom at a designated time. This article describes some of the benefits and challenges of creating a fully online initial certification program. First, we review empirical data for teaching using an online medium. Second, we show how our program focuses on rigor by describing how we document our teacher candidates' effectiveness within the classroom and provide quality online supervision. Finally, we discuss such issues as access to education, time devoted to online education, and the flexibility that online education provides.