Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I'm not sure I agree with this analogy, but it's novel and therefore at least worth sharing. E-learning, says Ethan Edwards, is like making pies. There are different models; let me quote from the article:

  • Pre-baked: The easiest path to pie and e-learning is to buy it off-the-shelf.
  • Buy the crust and filling: This takes just a litte time and effort but gives the impression that one is something of a baker.
  • Buy the crust and make your own filling: It takes a little longer, but once attempted, people find enough value in the investment to not retreat to store bought.
  • Make everything from scratch: start with whole ingredients and assembles the pie exactly as the baker wishes.

Of course very few people mill their own wheat to make flour nor harvest their own sugarcane or gro pupkins and ginger and other slices. But we get the idea that e-learning can be accessed more or less complete. Now, interestingly, says Edwards, "Regardless of where a pie-consumer is on this spectum, they tend to stay there. That is, a pie buyer doesn’t suddenly start baking pies." Maybe this is observationally true. But should it be? Pies are expensive, and off-the-shelf pies contain unhealthy processed ingredients. Making your own pie, like taking your own MOOC, is a lot harder. But perhaps the investment in time and effort is wrth it.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 2:09 p.m.