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e-learning is b-learning

e-learning is b-learning

First, let me say that I do appreciate Daphne Koller's initiative, to the extent that there is a vision of providing academic education to people who coulkd not otherwize afford it.

However, thus far e-learning is not developed enough to being able to offering a good alternative to on-campus education. Most e-learning (also higher e-education) involves little, if any, true interaction. There is even a risk that an increased trust in e-learning is used as a rationale for universities to rationalize and, thus, providing worse quality.

The kind of e-learning that Daphne Koller describes might be a good solution for the kind of learning that implies learning facts and memorizing. However, for the kind of learning that I would call academic, in which the students interact with teachers and other students in order to train on critical thinking nd becoming independent learners, current ways of arranging e-learning are of little use.

In my own subject - management and leadership - experiential learning has lately been introduced as a way to make the education more useful. In combination with critical thinking, I dare to say that management and leadership education has grown into a true academic discipline.

This positive development runs the risk of being ruined by focusing too much on an e-learning model that is not yet developed enough to offer true interaction. Beause higher education is about maturing, questionning, developing and growing, rather than memorizing or replicating.

Dr. Anders Ă–rtenblad
Associate Professor and Director of Teaching Development
Nottingham University Business School China


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  • Sep 24 2012: To say that e-learning is b-learning is laughable and highly offensive. Have you ever studied online? Have you ever talked with someone who has? What is it about e-learning that you think is lacking aside from the 'interaction' that you laud in the face to face world? Why do you think that there is so little or no interaction online?

    Traditional classroom education can be dead boring. I've been in so many situations where instructors/professors/presenters approach the classroom as their venue to 'share their fount of information' and they ramble on and on. Today's students have so much information at their fingertips that this is an antiquated and very egotistical view. We must do more than present information.

    Good education should ask the learner to think, to question, to analyze, to critique and to synthesize. What about e-learning makes you think that this cannot be accomplished? In e-learning there is no ability to hide in the back of the classroom, to avoid answering questions or participating. The entire focus of a good online course is that the onus is on each individual to participate. The use of tools like Ellluminate and others provide educators with many options that can bring topics alive. There is no shortage of technology to assist us with this task.

    As both an online learner and an online educator I think I can speak with some authority when I say that it is every bit as credible as face-to-face instruction. Is it appropriate for all topics and all learners? Probably not. However it can satisfy a broad range of topics for a broad range of students.

    I'm thankful to see many postings defending online education however I hope that there will come a day when it is no longer questioned. It's time to realize that it is here to stay. Like most new inventions, it only sticks around if it works. Guess what? It works.

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