What would future education look like? Michael has posted this video more than a year ago. Has digital technology changed the way Higher Education, in particular lectures are conducted? May be not, for the majority!
In this recent post on A Tech-Happy Professor Reboots After Hearing His Teaching Advice Isn’t Working (as referred to Michael’s advice) the new message from Michael is to first focus on the intangible factor, the bond between professor and student. I would fully agree on the importance of the bonding in formal education, where teaching and learning has been built around knowledge acquisition and transfer, from professors to students. This is often the case in formal “education” where certain values are attached to the teacher student relationship.
Also there has always been an emphasis on the building of relationship between teacher and students, to facilitate the learning process in those environments.
At this digital age of learning, what sort of bonding would be desirable especially in Higher Education? Is effective learning dependent on such bonds? As teacher and student’s role has gradually blurred, it could be argued that students would be expecting differently when learning online.
May be in a typical face-to-face classroom environment, the bonding could still be very important, but how about mass lecture?
Or where graduate students are learning over global networks, with the professor supporting the student merely as a mentor, rather than a “teacher”. Would the bonding be different altogether from those in novice learners where close guidance and intervention are required? I just wonder if such bonding would be dependent on the learning context and learning capability of the learners. So, for more autonomous and capable learners, they would focus on the learning based on self directed learning, rather than the bonding that is necessary. Rather, these learners might consider the professors and peers as part of the support to their learning, as I have shared in my ideal conception of learner-centered learning, together with peer-to-peer learning.
Higher education is going to digital. There are huge implications when most higher education courses in institutions have become online. The MITx is a big move that would test the uncharted water, using a global digital landscape. It could be interesting to learn how the course would be delivered by MITx as mentioned by Tony here.
“It has a number of interactive components, such as student discussions (but without an instructor) and automated feedback and testing.” So, where is the instructor? Would the instruction be automated? Yes the assessment and feedback could all be automated, and so there may not need to be any human to human interaction. Rather, that would be a human (learner) interacting with the artifacts, videos (recordings from instructors) or the assessment tools or networks. Would there be any bonding between instructor(s) and students? May be a “one way bond, as the instructor might never know who the students are, and these students are just a code, a number or a record on the system and a node in the network or community.” We may even have robots teachers, teaching in K-12, or even in Vocational Education and Training, and Higher Education.
So is bonding between professor and students still important in online education and learning?
Are we having an online education revolution? I suppose not yet. Why?
The five parts of the Education Harvest as shared by Michael Karnjanaprakorn include
1. Gadgets and Blended Learning
2. Social Learning and Collaboration
3. Open Resources and Classrooms
4. Adaptive, personalized learning
5. Creative certification
These are all changing. As I have shared in my previous posts, we may just be having a pendulum swing from one to the other, and then back, to formal education, with more centralized control and formal systems in place, due to the governance and requirements for certification.
Who would decide on these education changes? And how would such changes be made?
Here is the conversation on Future of Our Universities.