Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Re-engineering Education

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where a panel of academics and a student are discussing "Blow up the lecture?". The event is being streamed live. It happens today in a web search I found "Re-engineering IT Education" a seminar from 1998, where I outlined Recommendations for Improving Education. Then I wrote "Information technology and telecommunications will profoundly alter social interaction, work and education over the next 20 years.". What I did not realise was that I would then spend the next 15 years working out how to implement ICT for education. Having done that, I now hope to teach how to do this to my academic colleagues and do it internationally).

Professor Sarma,  used the term "magic time" for informal discussion, but perhaps "organised serendipity" would be better. He also estimated the cost of developing an online course to be about twice the cost of delivering a conventional face to face course. Using the ANU Academic casual sessional rates, I estimate the cost of a course with
100 students works out to about $100,000 (or about $1,000 per student). This sounds far too low for the cost of creating a MOOC. One of the others on the panel estimated a MOOC costs about four times as much as running a face-to-face course, which would be about $400,000. This sound more reasonable, but perhaps a little high.
What if the traditional lecture became a thing of the past? Are there some forms of learning that are better suited to computers than the classroom?
Do students want to be talked at or talked to?
Technology is opening up new ways to teach and learn and we want your opinion on what the classrooms of the future might look like.

Featuring panellists:
Professor Sanjay Sarma, Director of Digital Learning, MIT
Dr Joe Hope,  Physics Education Centre, ANU
Ms Laura Wey, Education Officer, ANUSA
Chaired by ABC 666 Mornings Presenter Ms Genevieve Jacobs

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