ERIC Number: ED440680
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Reinventing Online Education from a Social Context.
Kennedy, Cathleen A.
This paper presents a new educational paradigm for online education from the perspective of a faculty member who has taught these classes. It also addresses the value of the social context of the audience when looking into the differences between traditional and distance learners. The article cites one study that found that, as compared with traditional students, telecourse students are more intelligent, more emotionally stable, more trusting, and more conforming. They also tend to be more self-sufficient and expedient. The paper challenges assumptions about distance learning students in the online environment, asking if students who take courses online are already motivated, capable, and familiar with the technologies. If online education is viewed as an extension of what has been done before, there is a risk of building in certain assumptions about the teacher-student model and student learning strategies. How can online education be reinvented from a social context? What needs to be done? First, identify the educational purpose, asking who the institution seeks to serve and to what end. Once an audience is chosen, a community of learners who have reason to study a particular discipline online can be developed. The needs of the community must precede the pedagogy. Finally, the requirements of technology must be considered in terms of how to meet these objectives. (Contains 11 references.) (VWC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Online Education in California Community Colleges: Faculty Perspectives Conference (San Mateo, CA, October 9, 1999.