Some of my beliefs about elearning

We are preparing an online instructor certification program here and as part of that process I’ve been forced to look at some of the underlying assumptions I have regarding online learning. I’ve never really attempted to distill what I think are the key points before, so this has been an interesting exercise for me. This is by no means an exhaustive statement, nor is it the most refined, but it’s a start.

My beliefs regarding the development of online learning :

I believe that, in developing online courses , we are creating “spaces” for people to engage online, with the goal of learning in community. A measure of our success can be whether people return and bring back new knowledge or perspectives that have been gathered as the result of their initial interactions in an online course. I believe that learning online can be a persistent and iterative process that creates knowledge that a learner can then use in action  in the real world. For the cycle to be successful we must create, and support, opportunities for the learner to then re-engage online, in order to share their new found knowledge and experiences.

Online learning can also create opportunities for mentoring or scaffolding which might not be available locally. The distributed nature of elearning allows an instructor to connect with learners from a broad geographic region. At the same time learners connect in a similar manner and the distribution of knowledge increases, opportunities for connection grow.

I believe that we are educating for action (or engagement), and that our courses must integrate the real world and educate our learners in skillful means and methods to  impact their local environment in a positive, constructive and self directed (or determined) way. Online learning can reveal others who are engaged in the same or similar processes. This learner to learner interaction or mentoring can be just as valuable and vital as instructor lead or structured content.

It is necessary, for our success, to provide access to practical learning opportunities that our users can put into practice in the world.

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Some of my beliefs about elearning by ptreadwell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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