Re: Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web
- Hi Dave--
I also read that article in the NYTimes, and what you say is soooo true. If you are going to cram 1000 students into an online class, you are going to have instructional delivery, but no interaction. It's our worst nightmare of education.
And educators contribute to it. One of my worst evaluations came after a class that I thought was hugely successful because the students, with very little prompting from me, got into groups and energetically discussed poetry, wrote some collaboratively, and performed their poems for the class. My evaluators left before the performance, and I was later told I wasn't really teaching--because I hadn't lectured! I can tell you, after that, on evaluation day I always made sure to perform a wonderful lecture.
How do we change education while expanding it to ever-increasing numbers of students, with a constantly diminishing budget?
Dave, I hope you come to the speed-geek meeting tomorrow--the EVO does a great job of volunteer education, and I know several of the speakers will talk about how they get their peers excited about staying with a non-credit, all-volunteer professional development course.
Thanks for your posing these questions!
--- In email@example.com, "dk" <davekees1@...> wrote:
> "GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Like most other undergraduates, Anish Patel likes to
> sleep in. Even though his Principles of Microeconomics class at 9:35 a.m. is
> just a five-minute stroll from his dorm, he would rather flip open his
> laptop in his room to watch the lecture, streamed live over the campus
> Thursday's New York Times has a story about the growing trend in online
> learning reaching more and more universities and mainstream students. Before
> it used to be a choice of convenience on the part of the student but now
> universities are starting to turn to it to meet budget constraints.
> A couple months ago, Natasha Jovanovich shared an article about Bill Gates
> saying that in five years the best education will be on the web.
> At that time, some teachers expressed a dread concerning the idea of the
> demise of face-to-face teaching. Frankly, I welcome it and the sooner the
> better. The biggest complaint they expressed was that the teacher wouldn't
> be there to stir up the students, interact with them and rally their
> energies into the lecture.
> I feel this is a sort of idyllic concept that many of us hold. This is more
> the way we think face-to-face university teaching should be than it really
> is. Most university lectures are quite boring with the teacher droning on
> and on. You can find and download an abundance of this sort of lecture from
> even top universities like MIT or Standford on their websites.
> Much better would be having the top teachers teach their subjects with the
> help of video and computer specialists. People like David Attenborough make
> biology so exciting and Brian Greene makes the extremely complex world of
> quantum mechanics accessible even to the lay person. I would love to have
> these guys as my professors even if I couldn't see them face-to-face.
> They are the kind of teachers who can interest you in their subjects just in
> the way they present them even if you were never interested in them before.
> In light of this trend, I have begun using Moodle with my students. I would
> say it has been a soft launch as I am still getting a better understanding
> in how to best use this technology. I'd say I'm reasonably familiar with the
> mechanics of the website but am learning how to best appeal to the students
> with it.
> I'm wondering what you have found that works great with students.
> Dave Kees
>  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/us/05college.html?_r=1&hp
>  http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/06/bill-gates-education/