Discussion Thread #5: Questions and Concerns

Please use this thread to express and explore unanswered questions or concerns with the college’s e-learning strategy.

View the ongoing discussion here:

Thread #5 – Questions and Concerns

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4 Responses to Discussion Thread #5: Questions and Concerns

  1. billtemp says:

    The following comment applies to both the College’s e-learning strategy and course design in general. Yesterday (Jan. 3, 2013) during our School Meeting, I asked the following question, approximately recalled here from my very porous memory: “Given all the course design work to be done this summer and the incorporation our e-learning strategy into this design work, what opportunities will students have to give us their feedback, apart from the existing processes which include the written course evaluations?” Part of the context for this question comes from my own classroom experiences, including discussions with students about their preferred modes of instructional technology. All of which is to say that, from a business perspective, our students are our clients and any action we take that will have an impact on their client experience could potentially be improved by considering their feedback. Now this is a tired and nauseating metaphor for most of us, to be sure. Students are much more than clients and we are much more than suppliers of a purchased service. But please hold off on the hate mail. The people who we will meet next week in our classrooms, call them students, clients or Martians if you will, have choices in the current education market place. They can spend their time and money at Fleming. Or not — all of which prompts me to ask the question about their reaction to our design and e-learning efforts. So my initial question breaks down into a number of sub-questions:
    1) Would there be an opportunity to test-drive our design work, including e-learning, with students before we “go live” in the fall 2013 semester?
    2) How else could we shorten the design-student feedback loop in the future, long-term?
    3) What weight should we assign to student feedback in our design (including e-learning) work?

    Disclaimer: I am not implying that we should suspend our learning design expertise as educators until we get student feedback. And I am equally not implying that we should base our design work entirely on student feedback. Otherwise we might find ourselves having to present courses only on Friday afternoons on “The Multiple Uses of Red Bull and Assorted Liquors in Recreation Drinking Competitions”. Most judgemental and unfair of me, but I cringe to think what instructional feedback I would have offered my professors at university lo these decades ago. But rather than looking at this feedback issue through the a “Teacher-Student” lens — and the implied power differential of those words– how about using a “Learner-Learner” lens? If learning contracts mean anything, learners should be free to give other learners responsible, thoughtful and timely feedback. Particularly when we consider the use of e-learning in our design work, we are as much learners as are the people whose tuition fees in part pay our salaries (whatever we decide to call them). Last spring we had a great PD workshop on assessment. I recall a discussion that revolved around the idea of including students in the design of assessment processes (as assessment is another form of learning). How about applying the same logic to our design (and e-learning) processes?

  2. George Fogarasi says:

    Students want engaging educational experiences, online or off.

    Bill, you have a great point. We can’t default to a customer is always right ethos, but students must be at the center of our projects.

    Teaching and learning are irreducibly social. Students pay tuition to be guided in their learning, not thrown to the digital dogs (that about sums up the dozens of survey responses I had last term regarding SDL).

    There are many exciting ways to teach and learn online beyond the atomized and alienating grind of SDL. We have to stay creative and think of WHY we do something, not just think of the sparkly e-how and e-what.

    It’s all about sharing engaging educational experiences, online or off.

    Busy-work cloze tests don’t magically become valuable when done on an iPhone.

  3. Bill Templeman says:

    Pardon me, billtemp = Bill Templeman. in the post prior to George Fogarasi’s above

  4. Simpsonsss says:

    I congratulate, what excellent message.
    Pavier Simpson
    Charming question

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