Thursday, November 6, 2008

Distance Education

This is an interesting essay written by a faculty member at Elon.  She talks about her first experience teaching an online course and the challenges and benefits that came with it.  She addresses a lot of the issues that are common to discussions surrounding distance ed and helped me see that not everything I believed about online courses is true.  

One of the most interesting things that she mentioned is that "students can learn just as effectively online as in a traditional classroom, with some tweaks."  She mentions a few of those "tweaks", but I was left wondering what the key factors are that make an online course meaningful.  I have never taken an online course or taught one, but I can imagine that there is potential for that sort of class to be something less than desirable (but I guess the same could be said for traditional courses as well).  

Might "blended" learning environments be a good hybrid?  It seems like this allows for elements of both types of learning environments to be capitalized on and maximized.

1 comment:

Charles Graham said...

Yes - blended learning is a way of trying to maintain the benefits that come from personal connections between learners and instructor but also take advantage of some of the efficiencies that exist in an online environment.

I have some readings on the topic if you are interested;-)