[iDC] iCollege

George Siemens gsiemens at gmail.com
Sun Jun 20 16:15:47 UTC 2010

Hi Trebor:

"Quality online courses are in fact neither cheap nor easy to teach but
such nuance does not fit into the shtick of the Republican governor."

If online courses largely duplicate face-to-face courses, then yes, they are
neither cheap nor easy to teach. However, content duplication online has
very little of the expense of creating a second copy of a physical text. The
social dimensions of online learning are more difficult to scale, but a fair
bit of progress can be made if we let go of the assumptions that:

a) structure = learning (either in content organization or planned learning
b) The educator is the central node in the learning experience

In the CCK08/09 course that Stephen mentioned in his post, we devote
considerable time to discussing the changed power relationship between
educator and learner in an open online course compared with traditional
courses. It's important to mess around with what learners can now do (in
terms of social interaction and content exploration) that educators used to
do *for them.*..and how "technology" can do for learners what learners used
to have to do themselves (i.e. aggregation, patterning, content discovery).

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