(Obviously, you have to be of a certain vintage to get my Ferris Bueller reference…apologies.)
Read an article/opinion piece in The Globe and Mail yesterday on online education (part of the “Our Time to Lead” series”): “Graduates of the keyboard campus“.
Some interesting comments on the advantages or benefits of distance learning. I was particularly struck by the author’s comments about the difference between student attendance and student participation…
“There are other advantages…to online education. One is the inversion of the roles of student and teacher. This occurs because of the difference between attendance and participation. In in-person learning, you can be physically present in a classroom but contribute nothing to the ongoing discussion. In an online class, if you’re not contributing to the ongoing discussion, it’s like you’re not there; unlike traditional classrooms, attendance and participation are the same.”
Although, I would argue that with the idea that in class, participation and attendance are the same: I don’t think they are at all. I know that when I think back to writing report cards, I would specifically comment on a student’s contributions and engagement in the classroom. I think it’s important to consider engagement because one can be visibly engaged without being incredibly vocal. However, I do agree that in an online environment, it becomes far more necessary to be “vocal” in order to demonstrate engagement.
An interesting note…
The author of the piece, Ira Nayman, completed his degree entirely online through the New School for Social Research’s programme, Connect Ed; he was the first person to do so.