Anders Örtenblad

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Anders Örtenblad
Posted almost 3 years ago
e-learning is b-learning
More comments on comments 2 No, I am not (always) able to tell apart those who have studied at higher education from those who haven't. My intention by sticking to higher education in my reasoning was to keep to something I know well. I don'¨t know that much about school education (i.e. pre-university education). But I agree that such education is sometimes as academic or even more so that "higher" education. I also agree that such education should become more academic, in the sense of involving more questionning, people-development, exploring, and seeing-from-different-perspectives. I am able, though, to tell those who see education as knowledge-filling from those who see education as mutual and continuous knowledge-creation. I wish all education was more like the latter. Since I am a university teacher and researcher, I mainly want to debate the education that universities and colleges provide. Such institutions are often called "higher educational institutions". I agree that the term "higher" might seem like it is something better thn other education. This was not my intention, sorry for that. My main argument is that e-learning could be made and arranged so much better if we stop expecting that it should be time-flexible and not involve much interaction. There are so many other ways than traditional one-way lectures that we are using - at least at my university (University of Nottingham Ningbo) - that we must try to make available at online education. I refer to such teaching methods as problem-based learning, experience-based learning, service learning, learning by interviewing people, group tutorials, action learning, student-centred learning, role-plays, etc. As long as e-learning initiatives do not provide the tools for such teaching methods, there is a clear risk that initiatives like Koller's is step backwards.
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Anders Örtenblad
Posted almost 3 years ago
e-learning is b-learning
More comments on comments - I am not at all against e-learning or online education or whatever we call it; I want to improve it and I react when people like Koller present it as a universal solution, without dealing with risks or disadvantages, - Sure, e-learning is cost-effective, but generally of low quality, - I am not at all defending the low quality that on-campus education too often has, - The kind of knowledge that I refer to is neither skills nor canned-knowledge; rather, it is academic knowledge, in the sense of a continuous knowledge creation in which students are as participative as teachers, - I am not trying to say that skills traning or learning as memorizing/knowledge-canning is unnecessary or not as important as academic education - I'm just saying that academic education is what we should focus on within the academy (i.e. within higher education institutions), - Khan's suggestion, that lectures on video are better than actual ones, reduces education to memorizing/knowledge-canning. A lecture that does not take the participants (that is, the students) into account but is given in the exact same way no matter who the particiapnts are or what they say and do - and which, thus, successfully could be video-recorded - is rather a meaningless lecture. - By "e-learning" I have, in this debate, been referring to educational arrangements that only or mainly use virtual ways of communicating (such as computer networks, cell phones) and that very often (although not always) are arranged in a way so that the individual student is able to study on her/his own, e.g. by video-recorded lectures, individual compueter simulations, reading instructions and flexible deadlines for assessment submission. If there is any interaction, this is often arranged as non-simultaneous written communication, - To make a difference, academic education must involve true meetings between people.
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Anders Örtenblad
Posted almost 3 years ago
e-learning is b-learning
Comments on comments I agree that traditional lectures are of little use in real academic education. No better, though, are the kind of video-recorded lectures that not seldom are offered at online-education. One-way communication and no real-time communication imply that knowledge is something that could be stored and that students' answers could be "correct" or "wrong". This doesn't really give any space for a perspective of knowledge as somthing that is created here and now, jointly by (actively knowledge-creating) students and teacher(s). While I do agree that geographical flexibility is one of the strong sides of e-education, the common expectation is, unfortunately, that it also should be flexible in time. It might be possible to arrange so that e-education can offer as much or even more authentic, real-time interaction between student and student as well as between student and teacher, as is possible in a non-virtual classroom. And space for the creation of common authentic experiences. However, the majority of existing higher e-education arrangements do hardly provide the necesary tools for successful interaction, neither do they expect true interaction from the participants. Thus, e-learning as it currently is arranged might be relevant for memorizing, but - unfortunately - not yet for true academic learning. See also http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1595452
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Anders Örtenblad
Posted almost 3 years ago
Daphne Koller: What we're learning from online education
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 Örtenblad Associate Pro9fessor and Director of Teaching Development Nottingham University Business School China