Ensuring quality online learning

In this report shared by Tony Bates, Bill Gates offers his views on ensuring quality online learning:

One step that would help is having course standards that break down all of the various things to be learned into a clear framework and connecting the online material to this framework. Over time I think a large community of contributors and reviewers will develop and allow online material to be easy to access and a crucial resource for all types of education. There will need a number of pilot to see how to take this resource and blend it into the classroom experience. I plan to spend a lot of time on this to see what would help get it to critical mass.

To me, this seems like a rather complicated and inefficient way to consider learning, not to mention the huge costs associated to such an undertaking. While I cannot see concrete and positive application in the classroom in general, I am convinced that it could not possibly apply to higher education. Sustaining a learning community is a recommended online educational practice (Larramendy-Joerns & Leinhardt, 2006). Objectivist approaches to curriculum design and delivery tend to be quite cumbersome as opposed to “lighter” constructivist approaches, especially in this day and age where the emphasis is on collective knowledge building through resource sharing among learners.

One of my doctoral research questions is “How to define quality in a virtual graduate seminar?” While I am still refining my thoughts on this, my results indicate that objectivist practices do not contribute to the quality of online learning. These results support Bangert (2010): constructivist teaching practices are more appropriate for guiding the design and delivery of online courses in higher education.

This entry was posted in Blended online learning design, Community of Inquiry, Doctoral research, E-learning, Education, Graduate studies, Higher education, Interaction, Online learning, Socioconstructivism, Sustainability, Virtual graduate seminar and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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