Online Community Enthusiasts Vancouver Gathering June 14, 2012

I posed the question of what constitutes natural online learning to an open space session during  a SCoPE event at SFU recently.

What emerged to me was an over-arching and very simple commitment – that good practice is good practice. Good practice physical equates to good practice virtual.

Easy then. Well no.

Is non-virtual educational delivery based on concepts of best-practice or is it based on doing things (or constructing things) the way things have always been done, generally based on models of minimizing cost and maximizing impact necessary once but that have long since shifted?

Ok. Example. Lectures. A lecture as a method of disseminating information was simply the best format before the invention of the photocopier, let alone the blog. Since then, serious questions needed to have been asked about the role of lectures in education to justify and plan for their inclusion in a programme. They may still have a role, but the relationship of that role within a menu of subsequent delivery options changed and a reconstruction of their value was and maybe still is required.

Creating learning for online environments is not a niche area but an opportunity to re-evaluate the nature of the delivery of education as a whole and explore not only the relationship of the physical to the virtual but also the nature of perennial good practice within the changing landscape of new modes and efficiencies of delivery.

More on natural learning design in the next post…