Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Thwarted Innovation: what happened to e-learning and why

One of OCLC's corporate librarians, Larry Olszewski, ferreted out this report for me. You'll recall the Scan includes a short piece on e-learning in the Research and Learning Landscape. We suggested that e-learning could be a disruptive technology in education. This new study from University of Pennsylvania researchers, Robert Zemsky and William F. Massey, doesn't exactly turn our assumption upside-down but does suggest e-learning as it is conceived currently is a solution for problem that doesn't exist--or isn't acknowledged. I haven't read the whole report yet (76 pages) but the summary suggests it will be intriguing. I'll quote a bit:
"If we build it they will come--not so. The kids will take to e-learning like ducks to water--not quite. E-learning will force a change in the way we teach--not by a long shot. The hard fact is that e-learning took off before people really knew how to use it."

5 comments:

David said...

When I returned to school last year many of my classes came with the option of meeting face-to-face or online. However, before a student could sign up for the web based online classes, they had to take a learning skills class that contained a module on learning styles.

While I had grown up with a computer in the classroom since 4th grade. Since then, I’ve considered the computer an essential tool in overcoming my learning disability. I’ve worked in Web development and testing since the days of Mosaic. Therefore, I was stunned to learn that the teaching style that is best for my learning style (a mixture of auditory and mechanical) was 180 degrees from the style used by most web base courses (mostly reading). Yet as I looked back at which classes I learned the most from over the years, I found the assessment to be true.

My point is that e-learning will work for those students who's learning style is in synergy with the e-learning teaching style. For those students who's styles are not bent towards e-learning should not be forced to use a learning tool that will leave them frustrated.

David said...

When I returned to school last year many of my classes came with the option of meeting face-to-face or online. However, before a student could sign up for the web based online classes, they had to take a learning skills class that contained a module on learning styles.

While I had grown up with a computer in the classroom since 4th grade. Since then, I’ve considered the computer an essential tool in overcoming my learning disability. I’ve worked in Web development and testing since the days of Mosaic. Therefore, I was stunned to learn that the teaching style that is best for my learning style (a mixture of auditory and mechanical) was 180 degrees from the style used by most web base courses (mostly reading). Yet as I looked back at which classes I learned the most from over the years, I found the assessment to be true.

My point is that e-learning will work for those students who's learning style is in synergy with the e-learning teaching style. For those students who's styles are not bent towards e-learning should not be forced to use a learning tool that will leave them frustrated.

David Leslie
leslied@oclc.org

ruhan said...

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mack said...

This is fascinating.
I’d been taught that left-aligned labels are preferred, to support the prototypical F-shaped eye-tracking heatmap of web browsing. The idea is that it supports easy vertical scanning.
online education