2 October 2012
After a week absence on holidays in Czech Republic and no contact with this Mooc, I decided to post with some delay reporting to the resources of Week 3.
Alternatives of assignments were proposed for this week, among several resources to be selected.
I’ve chosen a presentation on «Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Research» (2011), by Dr. Susan Lowes.
In this presentation she sums up that a lot more research on online learning is required. (i) I think that with the massive use of computers in education in the last years, with more online learning available, contexts are changing rapidly and therefore this will require more study on the impacts and more research.
The initial research focus was on comparing online with face to face. (ii) I think that the trend will be to compare, in the present/future, between the different online offer and respective quality of the courses and institutions.
Most studies are in the field of Higher Education and should not apply to K-12. (iii) In fact online learning is an activity linked to more mature, responsible and autonomous ways of learning associated to adult learning. Online learning requires highly motivated learners, self-organized and self-disciplined committed to succeed, and youngest learners may need more guidance and surveillance. However, the contexts are changing with new tools and very good resources online and the traditional face to face classroom is not responding to the fast challenging times. I think that more blended/online learning will have to be introduced in K-12, on a general basis, and not just for those pupils/students that don’t adapt or have no possibility to attend classes. Guidance and support can be provided online and proper interaction can keep pupils/students on track to be able to achieve on the same level as in f2f contexts.
(iv) As for teacher training, they have to be trained for blended-online teaching, and they also have to be well organized and take the time to interact with learners, eventually invest more time than in f2f teaching and play complementary roles of facilitator, tech support, advisor, administrator.
Online platforms (LMS) provide a lot of data that can be analysed for research purposes. (v) I suppose that more content analysis on the interactions of online courses will be made in the future.