Monday, February 05, 2007

Imagine Adding Face-to-Face to Online Educ. - Thought Experiment

Exciting "thought experiment":
Suppose all higher education were conducted online.
Now imagine how and why you would ADD face-to-face meetings.
  • In what ways could you improve online education by creating new hybrid or blended options?
  • What strategies would you recommend to teachers,students in this new combined environment?
  • How could you best take advantage of both synchronous and asynchronous interaction?
  • What different media might you use?
  • In what ways would you encourage, support, or prevent students from multi-tasking?
  • How does the concept of "band-width" influence your choices?

This activity was suggested by Doug Eder, Director of Univ. Evaluation, Arizona State Univ. during a telephone conference call 1/30/2007 involving about a dozen experts in various aspects of faculty and professional development for college teaching and learning.

Listen to Eder describe this idea informally via MP3 .

1 comment:

  1. For me, the first step in answering Doug's question is to imagine what education would be like if it had always been conducted online, and using today's technologies. What would we consider "normal"? Here are a few points:

    * Students in any one class would live anywhere, and everywhere (so f2f meetings would be seen as exclusionary - of a class of 20, the faculty member would say, only 1-2 students could come to a meeting, no matter where it was placed)

    * lecture style presentations would typically be presented via stored video so students would be accustomed to 'rewinding' a lecture if they missed a point (so live lectures would be threatening, but gripping, like walking on a wire without a net)

    * students would be accustomed to asking questions (in a chatroom or threaded conversation) without fear of interrupting others

    * I'm less sure about what role emotion would play in traditionally online courses - would flaming be normal? or would students have long since learned to be over it? would they feel isolated? or would they have learned to 'connect' online?

    So what do you think education would be like, if that were the only medium that smart faculty and students have ever known? How would they have learned to exploit it? How would they have coped with its weaknesses? What about f2f would be appealing to THEM?


What do you think?