[iDC] iCollege

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Mon Jun 21 06:56:49 UTC 2010

There is an issue here. Reducing teaching costs by replicating standard
course materials risks producing a narrow normalised curriculum. An
important part of the of the educational process is the input of individual
tutors and lecturers who contribute material, experience and knowledge that
derives not only from textbooks but also their own research. Knowledge is
not just (or even primarily) kept in books. It is a property of communities.
Universities are, at their best, such communities.



Simon Biggs
s.biggs at eca.ac.uk  simon at littlepig.org.uk
Skype: simonbiggsuk

Research Professor  edinburgh college of art
Creative Interdisciplinary Research into CoLlaborative Environments
Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice
Centre for Film, Performance and Media Arts

> From: George Siemens <gsiemens at gmail.com>
> Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 10:15:47 -0600
> To: Trebor Scholz <scholzt at newschool.edu>
> Cc: <idc at mailman.thing.net>
> Subject: Re: [iDC] iCollege
> 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
> activities/outcomes/evaluation)
> 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).
> George
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