Week 21

I found the information for this week to be very interesting. After reading Hilton, Graham, Rich and Wiley’s article, I was struck by the fact that the distance learners surveyed seemed to want more interaction with, and perhaps a framework from, the professor, and that the f2f students didn’t seem to interact at all with the distance leaners. That seemed like a design flaw, and I got the impression that the professor expected the students to self-group without explicitly stating that, another design flaw in my opinion. I did like the discussion there about the use of WordPress as an LMS, and the recording of the f2f lectures for the distance learners, which links back to discussions here on POT of the last couple weeks.

I found Wesch’s Digital Ethnography course layout to be fascinating, and loved the fact that the aggregate seemed to be student curated, but it seemed a bit haphazard, and I could not find a framework explaining the methodology. I guess perhaps this goes back to my thoughts that the instructor or course curator should provide the scaffolding, and students can then build whatever towers they dream of.

Siemen’s post was fascinating for me, and I really felt resonance with his points. MOOCs can have an enormous impact on our students, and also on students from around the world. As Rob points out in his blog, you can have students from the part of the world that is the subject of your course interacting with your students. His points about synchronization and resonance, and the learners as autonomous and self-regulated were especially resonant for me.

I was very interested in Wheeler’s discussion of difference between learning and schooling: self-guided vs force-fed; pedagogy as facilitation of learning. I loved the quote “All of us know something, nobody knows everything.” Students can teach as well: co-learning, flipping roles in classroom. The quote “Cannot afford any longer to homogenize learning” was so incredibly true.

I want to close with a couple quotes from Harmon’s blog post that seemed so succinct for me:  “Good education, like a good game, also requires the constant tension between the open and the closed.” “I have to remember that nothing stops exploration and learning quicker than the right answer. As soon as I give the right answer (at least, right in terms of the class), then my students stop exploring and stop learning. As long as I’m talking, my students are not learning. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but it makes my point.”

Also, along this line, what do folks think of the attempt, and ultimate failure of the partnership between the UC system and Udacity?






One thought on “Week 21

  1. […] Week 21 was about distance learning and MOOCs. Here I began to think about the concept of opening up the classroom beyond the registered students, and how to make that effective for all involved. Certainly, this seems to be one direction education is headed in, and needs to be looked at to be sure it is effective for as many learners as possible. […]

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