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Teaching with Technology

Education Models | Educational Technology Options | Pedagogy | Resource Links | Virtual Instruction Centers

This page presents resources to help educators in becoming more familiar with technology and teaching practices associated with distance learning.

Education Models

Fully Face-to-Face

The traditional method of teaching and learning is synchronous and typically involves the employment of a classroom where the professor and students interact within a certain time and space.

Hybrid or Blended Learning

Hybrid or blended learning combines face-to-face classroom interactions with distance learning techniques to disseminate information to members of a learning community. This type of learning blends the use of technology-based asynchronous teaching methods and traditional teaching methods.

  • What is Hybrid Learning?
    A description of hybrid learning and its applications and the benefits of utilizing hybrid learning techniques to both faculty and students.
  • Hybrid Classes: Maximizing Resources and Student Learning [PDF]
    Provides a definition of hybrid learning, reasons for offering hybrid courses and links to other sites to learn more about this approach.
  • Hybrid Courses: The Best of Both Worlds [PDF]
    A resource developed by Simmons College to encourage faculty to consider teaching hybrid courses. Includes suggestions from faculty experienced in teaching blended courses as well as additional readings and resources available to those interested in learning more about this approach.
  • Teaching with Technology Today
    The Hybrid Course Project was initiated by the University of Wisconsin system as a means of more effectively examining and conveying how learning technologies affect and enhance teaching, learning, and research. The resulting Web site and archives provide an online resource that address educational technology use by UW System faculty, staff, and students.

Distance Learning

Delivering instructional and resource-sharing materials and information from the location at which they originate to other remote locations using audio, video, computer, or other multimedia resources. This process requires unique methods of course design and instructional techniques as well as a familiarity with technology.

  • Definitions of Distance Learning
    The Distance Education Clearinghouse, University of Washington-Extension, presents a compilation of resources that provide an introduction, overview, and definition of distance learning.
  • Distance Learning Assessment
    A self-assessment questionnaire provided by Peterson's Guide to Distance Learning assists students in determining if their learning style is more compatible with a traditional education setting or a distance learning program.

Educational Technology Options

Chat Rooms

Chat rooms are virtual rooms in which individuals may correspond with each other. Many educational institutions use chat rooms as virtual classrooms for distance learners to communicate with their professors and peers.

Discussion Boards

Discussion boards are forums on the Internet or intranet where users (both professor and students) may post assignments, questions, case studies, or messages for class members to read and respond to asynchronously. The posted information is viewed by the entire class.


Electronic mail is text sent through a computer network to a specified individual or group. E-mail messages can also carry attached files. E-mail may be utilized as one method of asynchronous distance communication between faculty and students and among classmates to facilitate learning.


Learning Objects

Learning objects are designed to break educational content down into small chunks that can be reused in various learning environments, in the spirit of object-oriented programming.

  • Merlot
    A user-centered, searchable collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials created by registered members, and a set of faculty development support services.
  • Learning Objects: An Introduction
    A resource that provides links to information about learning objects including working definitions, various collections, and organizations associated with learning objects and metadata.


PDA is short for personal digital assistant, a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, personal organizer and networking features. Some PDAs can also react to voice input by using recognition technologies. PDAs are beginning to use wireless to deliver graphics and video to users no matter where they are making learning almost universally accessible.

Platforms Used for Virtual Classrooms

Virtual classrooms are employed to help alleviate the isolation commonly associated with many distance learning techniques. Virtual classrooms are a way to provide a more human and synchronous learning experience.

  • Blackboard
    Blackboard is a hosting service, which will maintain hardware and software, provide 24/7 support, and provide software which powers online courses and virtual learning environments.
  • WebCT/Blackboard
    This is page lists available tutorials.
  • Blended Learning
    An argument against blending "e-learning" with traditional styles.

Emerging Technologies

To learn about the latest emerging technologies used in distance learning, visit the Shared Space Resource Library sponsored by the University of Wisconsin at Madison and select "Media and delivery technologies" from the menu.

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  • Designing More Usable Web Sites
    Information and resources to assist educators in making Web content more usable and developing online classrooms that are accessible to students with disabilities from Trace Center-College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Elements of Quality Online Education [PDF]
    A resource compiled by the Sloan Consortium in which student satisfaction and success, learning effectiveness, and assessment of distance learning faculty and programs are discussed.
  • Reimagining Professional Identities: A Reflection on Collaboration and Techno-Pedagogy
    This summary provides an ethnographic reflection of themes emerging from a workshop conducted in 2000 to address role clarification and collaborative integration among faculty, librarians, information technologists, and students toward the integration of information technology into classroom teaching. The workshop entitled Talking Toward Techno-Pedagogy: A Collaboration Across Colleges and Constituencies was supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Resource Links

Accreditation and Standards

  • Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning [PDF]
    Part of the CHEA Monograph Series, this report describes the scope and impact of distance learning on higher education today. It identifies the primary challenges that distance learning poses for institutional accreditation and describes the thoughtful and comprehensive response to date of the accrediting community to assure quality in distance learning.
  • Distance Learning Accreditation
    An article in which distance learning accreditation is explained and links to regional accreditors are provided.
  • Quality Standards in eLearning
    Journal articles which contain information and standards for institutions and faculty who provide distance learning services.


  • Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)
    The mission of AECT is to provide international leadership by promoting scholarship and best practices in the creation, use, and management of technologies for effective teaching and learning in a wide range of settings.
  • Instructional Technology Council
    The ITC provides leadership, information and resources to expand and enhance distance learning through the effective use of technology.
  • TeAchnology
    A Web portal for educators containing a collection of numerous organizations related to distance learning.
  • The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
    A non-profit educational association which serves as a clearinghouse of information about the distance study/correspondence field.
  • The Education Coalition (TEC)
    TEC works to create new public educational systems, models, and partnerships. They serve as a focus for development, dissemination, research, advocacy, and funding related to distance education.
  • United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
    The USDLA is an organization which is committed to serving the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking, and opportunity.
  • World Association for Online Educators
    A nonprofit international professional organization concerned with online pedagogy. WAOE offers membership services relevant to educators concerned with teaching online, public services for international society, and collaboration with other educational organizations functioning in cyberspace.

Virtual Instruction Centers

Outsource Options for Distance Learning

    eCollege provides a comprehensive outsource service to colleges and faculty interested in offering distance learning programs.
  • Blackboard Collaborate
    Blackboard Collaborate provides comprehensive hosting services for colleges and faculty interested in outsourcing distance learning. 

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