As I'm starting to prepare my teaching strategies for next semester (only 2 weeks away now...) I've been considering many of the issues that my research into blogging and learning journals have raised for me.
Wandering along Chiswick Common I noticed a plaque on one of the terraces - E.M.Forster had lived there for some time, then I came across this quote (actually I searched for it) from E.M.Forster:
"Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon."
hmmmm - thought provoking?!!!
Sebastian Fiedler recently posted a comment on the current focus (or is it an obession) of practitioners on content and delivery. Although I understand Sebastian's position, as a designer and developer of subjects, I am always concerned by the quality of instructional material and content - does it reflect current issues, debates and literature, are we presenting a balanced perspective, is the content logically sequenced to enhance learning potential, are the assessment tasks valid, sufficient, authentic etc etc.
Is it not our responsiblity, as educators, to engage and enhance learning opportunites?
If we sideline content, then we are in danger of presenting our learners with mediocre, out of date, inappropriately sequenced and irrelevant materials.
If we ignore delivery then are we missing opportunities to engage - or provide access to those previsouly unable to attend traditional classroom sessions?
Having said all of that - I also concur with Sebastian's alignment with the view in the article quoted by Oleg Liber (thanks to James Farmer for the link to the article) Cybernetics, e-learning and the education system from the Bolton Institute of Higher Education, UK. - and add the comments from Linda Harasim, as quoted by Liber:
"If we approach this new domain from old mindsets (such as theorectical frameworks underpinning traditional face-to-face or distance mode education), we may be applying metaphors that are not only limiting as a perspective but perhaps even misleading. We need to recognise the distinct nature of on-line education...if we are to realise the potential of this new domain for augmenting educational options and opportunities."
I am certainly aware of how the use of our LMS drives many of my e-Tivities and taking into consideration all of the above quotes, comments and issues, I am now consciously reviewing my teaching paradigms and the use of technologies - oh, and my obsession with quality content!