Can Virtual Classrooms Recreate a Traditional College Experience?

Kate Freeman, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, Jan 25, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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My first thought on reading the headline of this Mashable article was, "why would they want to do that?" Personally, I think it has been pretty well established that online learning has captured the essentials of traditional education - access to learning materials, interaction, educational outcomes - without may of the distractions, such as commuting. But for the author, the question remains, "can an online classroom teach you the social and collaborative skills that real-life, in-class experiences impart?" I'm not so sure that in-person classes teach people these skills, particularly. In any case, it's not like people stop living their lives when they study online, nor is it the case that elarning stops when the computer is turned off.

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