I found this article very interesting and similar to what happens in Portugal.
First the teachers have to use as a resource LMS like Moodle, then plan one course where we can find all the materials needed for the course, like, ebooks, etexts, and all the library the teacher thinks it's needed for the discipline.
We don't need any paper or pencils. In High School in Portugal most of the teachers also use Moodle as a resource in their classroom, but not only in the Classroom, also as a distance learning component.
Our student's can work at home, classes or anywhere at anytime they want.
The plan for each online course must be well prepared and the teacher will spend much in the begining, before using it.
The quality of the content and material used in each online course must be diversified, carefully and richly.
Here are some rich aspects that i found in these article.
..."Students expect readings, assignments, and quizzes they see on the computer to be better thought out than what they see in the classroom."
" when students confront your teaching material online, you are not there in person to explain it, or provide further details: the document they see must cover all bases. Each piece of content posted online must be self-contained and self-explanatory, so that students know exactly what they are supposed to do and have all the support they need to do it."(Lengel,2008)
"It's not what you do, it's what they do. In the classroom the teacher is at the center; students focus on the professor; it's what the faculty member does that makes the difference. Not so with online work. The only thing you get to do is prepare the content and pose the assignments; from then on, learning is dependent on what the students do. So the key to successful online courses is to craft a set of activities for the students to do: read this, look at that, ask yourself this, write that, discuss all of it together with your classmates. The clearer and more active the assignments, the more likely your students are to follow the course of study."
"The teachers in the new start-up high school are learning to structure their courses for an online environment. They are now thinking of each course as a sequence of activities that students go through as they learn the material. "
"Collaborative work. Contacting and conversing with classmates online to create a short presentation of ideas. "
The learning sequence:
Pre-assessment. A short, two- or three-question self-correcting quiz to see what he already knows (and doesn't know) about the subject.
Close reading. A serious and detailed look at the key concept, often guided by an essential question.
Written response. An opportunity for the student to summarize the key idea in her own words, and get online feedback from the teacher.
Wide browsing. Moving beyond the text to explore numerous (and perhaps conflicting) online sources about the concept.
Discussion contribution. Responding publicly in writing to the questions posed by the teacher and commenting on the contributions of classmates.
Collaborative work. Contacting and conversing with classmates online to create a short presentation of ideas.
Capstone project. Putting all that you have learned about this concept into a paper of presentation, and submitting it online.
As online learning grows, we will all learn more about what works best. But by following the guidelines above, you have a better chance to develop an effective course of study.