Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning

Here it comes, what I have once also liked to express:

“AH, you’re a professor. You must learn so much from your students.”

This line, which I’ve heard in various forms, always makes me cringe. Do people think that lawyers learn a lot about the law from their clients? That patients teach doctors much of what they know about medicine?

Yet latent in the sentiment that our students are our teachers is an important truth. We do in fact need to learn from them, but not about the history of the Roman Empire or the politics of “Paradise Lost.”

There were many good stories illustrating how people teach doctors how to cure diseases, or lawyers learning a lot from the cases they dealt with the clients.  Here in my previous posts on story telling – story telling.

It makes good headlines to claim that MOOCs and their ilk signal “the beginning of the end” for higher education. But that’s mostly blustery rhetoric. As Siva Vaidhyanathan put it, “I wish pundits would stop declaring that MOOC’s are revolutionary when they are merely interesting (not that there is anything wrong with that).” What’s a more measured reaction to the MOOC trend, then?

As I have shared in my previous posts, the x MOOC has decimated the connectivist MOOC but not the LEARNING associated with the connectivist MOOCs.  Cathy says in her post:

 True learning is a dialogue,” it is clear to me that he has never taken an online course.  Lots are dialogues. Extremely effective ones. At the same time, he romanticizes a bit too much about the dialogical nature of traditional higher education.  Lots of what profs do in the classroom is so monologic as to be narcissistic.   There are bad versions of MOOCs, and bad versions of traditional education, or Massively Outdated Traditional Education (MOTEs).   We have to make distinctions.

I am “tired” of the debates between the two, mainly because there are many pros and cons with each approaches. When MOOC really scaled to a huge scale – say tens of thousands, the learning is surely machine or tool gauged, as no institutions could afford the time and money to have any human doing the assessment. Such forms of assessment could be perfectly matched with the public examinations, where MC, T/F, and short answers could be matched with standard answers. What does a 100% mean? A perfect match with the answers the questioners (professors, educators) have set. To what extent would that count as education? 100%. How about when people are out there at work? What are the questions? What are the problems? Are there 100% perfect right answers? So, the issues with MOOC include: What does learning mean, when we just focus on examinations, or even the mere “right or wrong” answers matching with the “learning outcomes”?

There are no “right” or “wrong” MOOCs, as any one could argue that these MOOCs are absolutely revolutionary, and right for having them open to the world, for free. Aren’t these MOOCs satisfying the urge for free open education? Why people are still not happy when they are free? Aren’t the professors doing a great job of educating the world?

Jesse argues in this post: “MOOCs are like books, good when they’re good and bad when they’re bad. There is evil they can help do and evil they can help undo. Emerson writes in“The American Scholar,” “Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst” (56).”

Finally, education and learning is not merely giving out the content, testing the students to see if they have got the right answers in assignments or examinations, though they may be important for course validation and institution accreditation.  It is about engaging people (both professors, educators, learners) to interact with each others, in the form of conversation, discourse, and to dialogue about the content, information, and learn about the implications and applications in study, at work, or in life.

Technology could be a powerful tool in the course of education and learning, in particular in MOOC, especially in the mediation of communication, or the facilitation of cooperation and collaboration, through wiki, Google Doc, or social media.

The current affordance of media and tools that are tailored to the learners need to be more effectively applied in the x MOOC, together with the “teaching, cognitive and social presence” for a transformation of education and learning.  Tools and media alone won’t change the world.  It’s the people, the leaders, the learners who work and learn, and converse together, that would change the world.

Photo: Google

36 thoughts on “Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning

  1. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Digital Delights | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Utbildning på nätet | Scoop.it

  3. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Creative interactive digital resources for teachers | Scoop.it

  4. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | E-Learning-Inclusivo (Mashup) | Scoop.it

  5. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning « juandon. Innovación y conocimiento

  6. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning - Blogs | Connectivism and Networked Learning | Scoop.it

  7. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Era Digital - um olhar ciberantropológico | Scoop.it

  8. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning - Blogs | Web 2.0 Education | Scoop.it

  9. Interested in this on wicked problems? What problems are we trying to solve? What are the causes of the problems? How would MOOCs solve those problems etc.? There are many different solutions, and each solution may generate new problems and challenges. Such solutions are work in progress (i.e. MOOC). Would this be a never-ending debate, discourse on future education? What do you see are the problems and challenges in HE?
    John

  10. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning - Blogs | elementary blogging | Scoop.it

  11. Well, if the ‘crux of the problem’ can only be summarized by a 164 page manifesto on wicked problems, then I think I understand the difficulty in ‘getting to’ it. Is there a shorter version, or a synopsis available, of the crux? How would you express it, in your words?

    It seems to me that xMoocs meet some demands: distributing knowledge, lower costs etc. I don’t know whether these demands have arisen from problems in HE or not. What do you think?

  12. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Connectivism | Scoop.it

  13. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | EDUCACIÓN 3.0 | Scoop.it

  14. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Teaching in the XXI century | Scoop.it

  15. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Master en Redes Sociales | Scoop.it

  16. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | TEFL & Educational Technologies | Scoop.it

  17. I have posted some of the “wicked problems” here and some suggestions in tackling them.
    Yes, x MOOCs might meet some demands: distributing knowledge, lowering costs. I think the branding & marketing of HE institutions is especially important here, in order to attract “more students” to their institutions, thus raising the institution profile too. Other problems that HE institutions with x MOOC are trying to address could be the reduction of funding – based on the number of students attending courses. Ultimately, all HE institutions offering x MOOC wish to become the world renowned pioneers in providing world-class education with students gaining an enriched experience. What is better in terms of promotion for the institutions when x MOOCs’ students are spreading their success stories upon graduation? Free – open – education is one of the best outcomes arising from these x MOOCs and c MOOC development. So, have we solve some of the problems relating to high cost, limited access and inequity in HE? John

  18. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Cultura de massa no Século XXI | Scoop.it

  19. I read a few of the comments and several support Khan. My first impressions are that the detractors may in fact be nit-picking. If a teacher teaches, and a learner learns, then that is a good thing. Some lessons I was fed by experienced, trained, professional educators have proven to be useless and/or not understood by me. Some have been good. C’est la vie.

    AS far as the MOOC discussion, I remember that the C-MOOCs received their fair share of criticism as being faddish, as well.

    “The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.”
    Niccolo Machiavelli

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/n/niccolo_machiavelli_3.html#Mx8KuY64Q7TjRHJf.99

  20. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | UkrEL11 | Scoop.it

  21. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | educational tools | Scoop.it

  22. Pingback: Dialogue and conversation in Online Education and Learning | Ensino, Aprendizagem & Tecnologia | Scoop.it

  23. Pingback: #CFHE12 #Oped12 MOOCs emerging as Landscape of Change – Part 5 Questions & Openness with MOOC | Learner Weblog

  24. Pingback: My reflection on education and learning Part 1 | Learner Weblog

  25. Pingback: Openness, teaching and learning in MOOC | Learner Weblog

  26. Pingback: What is the most important lessons in MOOCs? | Learner Weblog

  27. Pingback: What is the most important lesson in MOOCs (cMOOCs)? | Learner Weblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s