As of 2017, many online learning professionals, institutions, and journals are still wondering how instructors can keep student engaged in the online learning environment to facilitate active learning effectively. The purpose of this qualitative single-case and narrative research is to explore whether online professors understand their role as mentors and facilitators of students’ academic success by keeping students engaged in active learning based on personalized experience in the field. Data collection tools that were used in the study included an NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software, an interview protocol, a digital audiotape, an observation sheet, and a transcription. Seven online professors in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online teaching techniques from previous research were used as the study framework. Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to achieve saturation. About 85.7% of professors agreed on rubric as the preferred online grading technique. About 57.1% agreed on professors logging in daily, students logging in about 2-5 times weekly, knowing students to increase accountability, email as preferred communication tool, and computer access for adequate online learning. About 42.9% agreed on syllabus for clear class expectations, participation to show what has been learned, and energizing students for creativity.
In the last two decades, one can clearly observe a boom of interest for e-learning and web-supported programs. However, one can also notice that many of these programs focus on the accumulation and delivery of content generally as a business industry with no much concern for theoretical underpinnings. The existing research, at least in online English language teaching (ELT), has demonstrated a lack of an effective online teaching pedagogy anchored in a well-defined theoretical framework. Hence, this paper comes as an attempt to present constructivism as one of the theoretical bases for the design of an effective online language teaching pedagogy which is at the same time technologically intelligent and theoretically informed to help envision how education can best take advantage of the information and communication technology (ICT) tools. The present paper discusses the key principles underlying constructivism, its implications for online language teaching design, as well as its limitations that should be avoided in the e-learning instructional design. Although the paper is theoretical in nature, essentially based on an extensive literature survey on constructivism, it does have practical illustrations from an action research conducted by the author both as an e-tutor of English using Moodle online educational platform at the Virtual University of Tunis (VUT) from 2007 up to 2010 and as a face-to-face (F2F) English teaching practitioner in the Professional Certificate of English Language Teaching Training (PCELT) at AMIDEAST, Tunisia (April-May, 2013).