John Seely Brown on Tutored Video Instruction

John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid, Sean's Emerging..., Feb 23, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In the winter of 1981 I was sent to Austin, Texas, for three months to learn IBM's new MVS-JES (Multiple Virtual Storage - Job Entry Subsystem) mainframe computer, which would be the backbone of our global network of data processing sites (I was based in Calgary, others were based in Australia and Britain). I studied these systems (and took a communications course called 'On the Way Up') using tutored video instruction. It worked very well for me. Note though that while John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid say "the method requires viewers to work as a group... [to] construct and negotiate a shared meaning, bringing the group along collectively rather than individually," I studied on my own and practiced what I learned messing aorund with the mainframe on the night shift. Oh, and I sincerely doubt that the method was "discovered" at Stanford in the 1970s, as Fred Bershears suggests in an email today, no more than MOOCs were "discovered" at Stanford in the 2000s.

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