teaching and learning: from the present to the past

  • A new report from Eduventures, Sloan Consortium, and Babson College shows that the numbers of blended courses in the US are declining, and that online courses are increasing. 64% of all institutions of higher education now offer online courses, while 55% offer blended courses. The groups, who have a stake in online learning, also suggest “that colleges and universities have not been meeting consumer demand for online course offerings.”
    • What does that mean for an institution that offers primarily f2f courses? We have slowly been offering more online courses, primarily in Intelligence Studies, although that fact is not publicized in such a way that most of us think about the impact. Consumer demand isn’t a phrase that rings true for most academics, but do we have an obligation to explore online learning and how far we want to go with it?
  • Harvard is concerned about Web surfing during class, and about a larger atmosphere of boredom and “student apathy about learning.” Read more in the Harvard Crimson, where the parties agreed on the “importance that teaching and learning go hand in hand.”
  • Finally, (if you want a break from tech news) from the journal Pedagogy, available on Project Muse, browse the Winter 2007 special issue on Wayne Booth’s contributions to teaching. From guest editor James Phelan:

“This issue of Pedagogy goes behind that public record to gather the testimony of eight of his students about their experiences with Booth. The result is a compelling and illuminating collection of personal narrative, argument, and analysis that points to the depth and range of Booth’s achievements as well as to the overall coherence of his pedagogical commitments. These essays show that Booth cared as much about the how of learning as about the what. That is, he taught not just subject matters such as ‘intellectual texts,’ ‘forms of the novella,’ and ‘rhetorical criticism,’ but also how to ask questions about these subject matters and how to test the quality of one’s answers. The essays show that he cared even more about the who of learning—that is, about the intellectual projects and journeys of his students and about the special qualities they could bring to his dialogues with them. Above all, Booth taught the importance of inquiry and of dialogue, of seeking better reasons for one’s positions, of never being fully satisfied with one’s answers, and of always being open to the challenges of other voices.”

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Categories: technology

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