Earlier this spring, a collaboration of Swem Library, the School of Education, and IT Information Services received a grant from the College’s Creative Adaptation Fund (CAF) to develop resources to help faculty develop new knowledge and skills in e-learning. We define e-learning in the broadest possible way: any educational activity that uses “electronic” technology to enhance learning. This could include computer-based learning, all kinds of Web activities, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. We’re particularly interested in finding projects that blend online and face-to-face learning in new ways.
Recently Scott E. Page did a presentation at the University of Wisconsin Center for Educational Innovation where he reviewed his experience teaching his Model Thinking course twice through online course provider Coursera. The talk he gives is a very interesting insight into the process of creating a very successful MOOC (massive open online course), but ties the experience into the typical role of a professor. For him, the mission of the professor is to share important ideas as deeply and with as wide an audience as possible.
I never thought I’d see the day when I had to confess to becoming a classroom flipper. After generations of teaching courses that focus almost entirely on interaction among the students, I’m now trying to learn how to create screencasts of my “lectures” so that students can “cover the material” before they come to the class session. The course I’ll be teaching this spring is an undergraduate course in the Mason School of Business on “using computers to make business decisions.” I taught the class last spring as an experiment, and if there ever was a course that begged to be put online, this is the one.
On the “worth watching” list of experiments in online learning is a project at Bryn Mawr, a small liberal arts college that values personal interaction with students. Although using online learning at a college like Bryn Mawr sounds a little counter-intuitive, faculty involved in the project hope to “reinforce their hands-on teaching model rather than to subvert it” by using online course modules. How does this kind of model work, and what can we learn from this online learning experiment?
It’s easy to find criticism with new ideas, and massive open online courses are no exception. In this post, Gene responds to a scathing review of an introductory statistics course offered by Udacity. Massive Open Online Courses, he says, can offer professors ways to interact with students on an individual level that large lecture courses cannot.
As I’ve confessed recently, I’m not very good at predicting the future of technology. I missed wireless and YouTube, and there were nights when I had serious doubts about this whole “world wide web” thing. Nonetheless, recent events seem to suggest that even in those of us working in traditional institutions might need to pay some [...]