[iDC] alternative models for education?

George Siemens gsiemens at gmail.com
Tue Jun 15 10:39:58 UTC 2010


Courses are the currency of education. All aspects of the system are shaped
by courses.

Education won't change significantly until the concept of a course changes.
Put another way, the future of education is in the future of the course

Over the last several years, a small group of educators has been questioning
the centrality of courses for learning and has begun to explore alternative

Stephen Downes and I have been active in "destabilizing courses" (
http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/connectivism/?p=194) through several large open
learning activities we've offered: CCK08/09, Edfutures (with Dave Cormier),
and now the Critical Literacies course Stephen is running (
http://ple.elg.ca/course/). If you're interested in a the technological
dimension of an open "course" (it really is hard to not use that term, even
when attempting to do away with it), this article covers it in more detail:

Many arguments can be made for the failure of courses as a model for
knowledge growth (lack of personalization, high costs), but I think critical
concerns rest in two areas: information abundance and the inability for
courses to keep pace with knowledge growth. P.W. Anderson stated, in the
70's, that "More is Different".

What are your thoughts on the centrality of courses? If we aspire to do away
with them, what kind of an alternative model could we possibly create?

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