While many are enthusiastic about the promises of online learning as a flexible form of learning, others are cautious and concerned with the quality of teaching and learning rendered in such environments. In response, this article reports on the findings of a study conducted to better understand the issues related to the nature of learning in online environments and how learning in such environments can be successfully facilitated. Ten online lecturers and their students were surveyed at the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato. Successful online teaching and learning was characterised as a social interactive process such as that embodied within learning communities. Teaching practices and responsibilities associated with four lecturer roles were crucial to this process-pedagogical, managerial, social and technological. Considering these multiple roles is argued to be a productive framework in enabling online lecturers to understand and act on each role's required responsibility, tasks and practices and adapt them to their particular teaching context.Â
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