Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is the second edition of the book by Martha Cleveland-Innes and Randy Garrison, two of the leading voices in distance education (and the reviewer David Porter is no slouch himself). In this review (4 page PDF) we only get a hint of the slate of individual chapter authors, but again, those named (Richard Schwier, who wrote a froward, and Phil Ice, and Melissa Layne, who wrote on blockchain and AI) suggest a similar pedigree. And yet as I read the review there's a deep sense in me that they don't get it. No, it's not the lack of currency (though Porter notes "the scarcity of research citations beyond 2015, with the majority of the research cited coming from pre-2010"). It's that distance education isn't about $160 textbooks any more, and that's what this is. Sure, you can get an overpriced ebook, but the field as a whole has moved on, led for example by Tony Bates's open textbook Teaching in a Digital Age. No matter how qualified someone is, I can't take them seriously as a commentator in this field if they're publishing books behind paywalls.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Nov 30, 2023 09:51 a.m.

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