Another dot in the blogosphere?

What is good e-learning?

Posted on: September 21, 2011


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I could probably look at John Connell’s revised slides on “Good eLearning and Bad eLearning” and pick up something a bit different every day.

For example, there were lots of quotable quotes, mostly by famous people, but my favourite was probably the simplest one in slide 63: Young people across the world today are possibly less bound by received wisdom than any generation in history. It reflects how connected the world is today and begs the question of how education must change.

My favourite slide is also the one that hints at the changes (slide 75):

What should education look like?

  • A place where learning is the focus rather than teaching
  • A place where faculty and learners learn together
  • A place for social learning (and solitary learning!)
  • An entry-point for collaborative learning
  • An immersive environment stretching far beyond the campus walls
  • An open-learning environment built on negotiation and mutual respect
  • An extended community resource

I also like the creepy treehouse syndrome as described in slides 77-79. This is when a professor requires his/her students to follow him/her on Facebook or Twitter. I do not make my student teachers friend or follow me. I just let them know that I have a treehouse, creepy or otherwise, that they are free to visit.

But if you want a few answers to what good e-learning is, you have to read the summary at slide 90:

Good e-learning:

  • is built on careful consideration of the purpose of the learning
  • recognizes the changing relationships between teacher and learner, and between learner and information
  • avoids the worst features of creepy treehouse syndrome
  • recognises the cultural, ideological and political impact of education
  • permits the learner genuine and increasing autonomy in their learning as they grow and learn
  • enables learners to nurture rich, heterogenous personal learning networks
  • makes room for conviviality in learning

That is a tall order. No wonder we have a fair bit of bad e-learning, a lot of e-doing and not so much e-learning!

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