Thursday, November 6, 2008

Distance Education

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/06/overman


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.

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