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Online Courses

January 21, 2010

Reason #19 I don’t like teaching online courses:

If someone raises a hand in a live classroom and produces misinformation, it is usually easy to correct in front of the whole class—so the misinformation doesn’t spread.

But online this is what may happen:

  • someone posts misinformation,
  • a bunch of people agree with or ditto the misinformation,
  • you correct the misinformation and show how it is wrong,
  • but no one goes back to the discussion board to follow up, and
  • so the misinformation is left unchallenged.
One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2010 4:05 pm

    … and then you look like the bad guy who came along and killed the conversation.

    I used to study and work at one of the largest universities in Australia where there was a senior administrator who had a dream that one day all undergraduate teaching would be done online. Here’s how it would work:
    – Senior scholars would be hired for a short period to write the subject’s lectures and collate the necessary readings.
    – Junior scholars would be paid to answer online inquiries of students and assess any work that couldn’t be assessed with a machine (like shade-the-box quizzes you can feed through a scanner).
    Actors would be paid to record the lecturers the senior scholars wrote.

    Had the whole plot succeeded, the amount of money the university would have saved by having an almost student-free campus and very few full time academic staff would have been huge.

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