Online Learning. What is the question we should be asking?

Online learning and associated methodologies are under scrutiny. Tutors want to offer their campus-based courses through online facilities. The big question often asked then of course is:

"In online learning how does the tutor make up for his/her absence?".

Video conferencing, podcasts, vodcasts, discussion forums, wikis, virtual learning environments and occasional on-campus meetings are the tools deployed in achieving solutions.

Of course this may the wrong question and so the solution will not be as successful as it might.

If the objective is to try to replicate the on-campus course, with a twist, and through an online experience, the end result is unlikely to be better than the on-campus equivalent despite all the wonderful and available technologies.

What do we do then?

We think new course design, new pedagogies and new assessments.

These new courses can in fact become the new standard. There is an opportunity to revise how we design courses, how we facilitate learning, how we assess and generally how we prepare students better for the future. It is time to put the old model to sleep.