[iDC] Why do we need physical campuses?
aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Thu Jun 10 14:59:16 UTC 2010
I guess there is more to a physical learning environment than just a
"perceived value": it is the real value of practical hands-on learning
and the subtleties of person-to-person communications that go with it -
the practical and sensorial learning which is hard to replicate in
distance learning or VR. I believe that these traits inherent in
physical learning environments are often treated as secondary when they
should be an area of primary investment.
Such grandfathering may be due to a deliberate focus today on a
preparation for the "information processing age" or it may be a
financial or other resource constraints that limits the scalability of
physical learning spaces. I think "online" should not be treated as a
substitute but rather as an augmentation to supplement physical spaces
to extend their reach in time and space.
On 6/9/10 1:18 PM, George Siemens wrote:
> Stian wrote:
> There are many ways to provide cross-border education and
> training, and distance education is one, where the institution
> never leaves its country, and the student stays at home. There are
> interesting providers, for example the Indira Gandhi National Open
> University in India, arguably the largest university in the world
> (more than 2 million students) has study centres in 34 countries,
> often countries in the Middle East and Africa with large Indian
> Online learning makes sense for all kinds fo reasons: financial,
> equity/access, scalability, etc. But...online (distance) learning is
> still the unloved stepchild of education. Is the resistance cultural?
> Or related to the perceived value of learning in physical spaces?
> ICT has progressed enough over the last decade that I think we can
> largely do away with the physical space of universities. Open
> Universities have greatly impacted developing countries and the
> intellectually curious in remote parts of the world (as is commonly
> cited, Nelson Mandela studied via distance). If a government's goal,
> and the spirit of a society, is to promote equity and broad access to
> learning, the online learning should be an area of primary investment.
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