Educational Journey

August 5, 2010

Aha moment – online learning

Filed under: General,What I learned today! — Cyndy @ 5:03 pm

Through my own experience with online education, I have come to have a greater understanding of the needs of myself as a learner. Although I may never have admitted it before, social interaction is a key element of the learning experience. As a natural introvert, I tend avoid much social interaction and prefer to do most of my learning by myself. At least, I thought I did. As MacKerarcher (2004) explains in her interpretation of Kolb’s learning theory, the learning cycle consist of four phases, which each individual uses with tendencies toward efficiencies or inefficiencies of those phases. The active experimentation phase includes sharing new ideas with others and asking questions to clarify meanings. I am most inefficient in this area. Additionally, this is the area that online programs have difficulty facilitating.

I have taken online instruction from two universities now. Both have included some attempt to incorporate social interaction into the program. One incorporated a large component of team-based assignments while the other incorporated field experience assignments. Both models have pros and cons. Overall, the most important element lacking in both programs was an understanding of the importance of this element of learning and assistance to the student in facilitating the experience and overcoming the challenges.

Reference

MacKeracher, D. (2004).  Making sense of adult education. (pp. 71-91). University of Toronto Press: Toronto Canada.

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