Online education is dead; long live Mentored Simulated Experiences

Mark Guzdial, Harvard Business Review, Jul 04, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not sure what is new about this proposal, except perhaps the name (which really just combines two things we already know quite well). Here's Roger Schank: "Universities have adopted online education wholesale. They are producing garbage. No, actually they are producing what they have always produced." So this, he says, is dead. Instead: "What is education? Its an experience, mentored by an expert, in which the student tries to accomplish something, fails, and then after some discussion with peers and mentors, tries again." It took less than a month for the term to be co-opted into something quite different, covertly reintroducing instructivism: " I think our ebook work is close to what he’s describing, since we focus on worked examples (as a kind of 'mentoring') and low cognitive-load practice (with lots of feedback)."

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