Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The evolution of online learning?

I recently tried to explain what needs to be done in online learning, and I told it like this ....

There have been roughly four phases in online learning interaction ...

1. Programmed learning, of which the premier example is PLATO.

1.5 Discussion boards.

2. Content and student-record management, which includes most VLE's, includes basic discussion forums, and bolts 'virtual space' onto to physical teaching spaces and on-campus practices.

3. Web 2, which is more of a process or a movement that a product. Web 2 operates in virtual space which just, en passant, incorporates physical space. Because it does that, anachronisms like 'institutional walls' just arent relevant anymore, and even Salmon's recent distinction between 'tethered' and 'untethered' media (non/wireless technologies) doesnt matter we've moved past that.

4. Web3, which goes beyond the networked-personal-space into ecologies of CoInquiry and CoPractice, and in fact makes the distinctions between personal knowledge mangement and personal profiling and networking, and institutional KM and networking, all a bit passe.

Problem ...
* On average (bar some interesting exceptions) most universities are probably not even making best use of #2 yet, so we are at about #1.7 or #1.8.

* The 'digital native' students are probably coming in at #3, or even #3.5.

* In simplistic terms that puts us 1.7 points, or 50% behind our students (or puts them 100% ahead of us, statistics are funny things!)

That's not good for our credibility, or their motivation and engagement. We're just not 'up to speed'.

Question ...
How does one communicate the fact that even the way most of our educational institutions think of 'space' and 'institutions' is quite out of touch?


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