What Was Good for the Goose Is No Longer Good for the Goslings

What Was Good for the Goose Is No Longer Good for the Goslings

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-543-8.ch009
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Abstract

Traditional teaching methods are outmoded. The face-to-face environment cannot be transferred online. It can only be effective if the design is learner-centric, providing opportunities for different types of interaction, flexibility, choice, collaboration, real-world skills, and learner control. The role of cyber educators is changing from a facilitator to a partner in learning. Learning in the online environment is a reciprocal exchange of knowledge between members of the community, as well as between the instructor and the learner.
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Objectives

  • Recognize the role interactions play in learner success.

  • Identify the elements necessary to create a learner centric environment.

  • Be aware of the need for instructor preparedness for the online environment.

  • Determine the influence of affordances when designing using technologies.

  • Identify the necessity to shift control from teacher to learner in a constructivist learning environment.

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Background

In the last few hundred years, there have been innumerable changes to education, but unfortunately, some aspects remain the same. The first one-room schoolhouse in the United States, located in St. Augustine, Florida and built 200 years ago, very much resembles the few ones still operating in rural America and other corners of the world. While some may wish to discuss only the negative aspects of the one-room schoolhouse, this type of learning environment can provide insights into the principle of learner-centric pedagogy and andragogy. Likewise, the great thinkers of the old world applied learner-centric principles to encourage self-discovery and critical thinking. Technology, however, requires us to re-think what learner-centric means now and to identify which outdated practices from the industrial revolution still remain in the minds of educators today.

Over the years, educators stopped encouraging self-discovery and embarked on the quest to produce citizens who could function in the industrial age, working in factory lines and performing routine tasks. Critical thinking was not necessary for those jobs. Postmodern times have brought about the technology revolution, yet educators hardly modified their practices. In the era of technology, cyber education is replacing old systems and changing old mindsets. Cyber education is here to stay for a long while. Government agencies, corporations, higher education and, more recently, K-12 education have all embraced online learning. Online courses in the higher education sector are in greater demand than traditional courses according to a 2008 report published by Sloan-C (Allen & Seaman, 2008). The report indicates that from 2002 to 2007 enrollments for online courses jumped by 19.7 percent, compared to a 1.5 percent increase of face-to-face courses. According to Brooks (2009), seven reasons why higher education will continue to offer online learning include: (a) The active engagement of learners; (b) the ability to reach students with diverse learning styles; (c) the ability to offer a variety of experiences outside of the classroom; (d) emphasis on learners conducting independent research; (e) it makes college accessible to more students; (f) it makes attending college more affordable; and (g) it helps teach students values and ethics.

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