All online classes use the web, but few use it very well.
Most online classes are old-fashioned correspondence courses in modern (digital) clothes. More people are able to get an education, but the instruction itself hasn’t undergone any meaningful change.
Books + lecture + testing = learning. It’s a shame.
Technology has opened up so many possibilities for learning, but we are too tied to our old ways to make space for them.
They say that the best way to break an old habit is to start a new one. I think that applies to our education system.
I have a professor this term who is doing something small that I find interesting. Rather than using a textbook or power point slides or a packaged WileyPLUS product to teach, he uses questions. There is no assigned reading and no prepared lectures, instead he gives us a list of questions and asks us to find the answer wherever we can. Essentially, the Web is our textbook. And I like it.
It’s not for every teacher and surely not for every course. But it acknowledges (even validates) the opportunities for learning that are available to us outside the university press and library. It acknowledges that students are capable of seeking and finding knowledge without direct supervision from a certified expert. In that way, this small course is subversive. And refreshing.
So far, I am learning a lot with the Web as my textbook. It’s a small thing. But it’s big, too.
Have you taught or taken any courses that use the Web in lieu of a textbook? What are small/big things you have seen lately in online learning?