Queen’s University’s report on online learning

Tony Bates, Let's Talk About Tech, eCOTOOL, International Journal of Sciences : Basic and Applied Research, Apr 08, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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The best part of this report is the reaction to it posted by Tony Bates: "Reading this report was like peering over the wall of a monastery watching the monks diligently tending their vegetables with trowels and hoes, then along comes someone who suggests that they might want to use a tractor." One gets that impression, perhaps, on reading in the opening few sentences that "The question that permeates the discussions to date has been whether online learning is demonstrably better than traditional approaches." It's not that it's a bad report per se, it's that it just seems, well, a bit quaint. Tony bates says, "What Queen’s now needs is a plan that sets clear goals for online learning, identifies the resources needed, and makes the necessary organizational and structural changes." fair enough, but what I say is that Queens should follow one of the first recommendations immediately, specifically, to "do a better job identifying and recognizing faculty and staff who are innovators in teaching and promote synergies between them."

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