In the early days of online courses, a widespread production model was to provide faculty members with release time and/or stipends in return for developing and delivering their own courses. These early online courses were developed by a cadre of faculty “zealots” who believed that information technology could transform learning. The support implications of any online course are significant.
Developing and delivering effective online courses requires pedagogy and technology expertise possessed by few faculties. Consider pedagogy, for example. Good pedagogy implies that the instructor can develop targeted learning objectives. Online instruction is more than a series of readings posted to a Website. The technology questions don’t end when the course is developed.