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Online learning and higher education: one size does not fit all

Michael Stewart
Valoda: EN

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Michael Stewart: Online learning and higher education one size does not fit all

The story so far...

In the previous chapters in this series of articles, we pondered the potential impact of digital technologies on education, the questions raised for those contemplating the design of an eLearning course, and how traditional approaches and methodologies can inform the application of emerging technologies.

In the first and second instalments of part five, we considered the possibility that we might have got at least some of our implementation strategy for eLearning wrong and, more worryingly, are continuing to make the same mistakes. This week we look at how we might redress the balance.

“Comparisons are odious.” - John Fortescue.

There is little doubt that one of the main issues that has dogged the pro-online learning lobby is the reluctance of sceptics to regard eLearning as anything other than an attempt to replicate the key components of its attendance based counterpart.

This attitude is based on some key assumptions, the most pertinent being that the face-to-face, institution based model represents the most effective form of teaching model in higher education. This may well be the case; for some of the people, for some of the subject disciplines, for some of the time.

The profile of the contemporary student differs from that of 20 years ago. Today’s learner is generally better informed, more aware of alternative modes of delivery, and more inclined to feel empowered to make choices that suit their chosen lifestyle, external commitments and learning needs. Rather than forming a homogenous group, the contemporary student body is fragmented; the demographic is more complex and incorporates a variety of diverse factions, each with a particular set of circumstances, motivations and requirements.

You can access the complete article 'Online learning and higher education: one size does not fit all' by following the link here.

Missed the previous instalment of Online Learning and Higher Education? Read the previous chapter “Online learning and higher education: part 5 (b)" by following the link here.

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Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart has extensive experience in the writing, directing and delivery of education programmes across a range of media. More recently as a member of the board and management team of the Interactive Design Institute, Michael has fulfilled a wide variety of functions including the development of pedagogy for online delivery.


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