megan avery and….

my web 2.0 class @ FSU

question of the week

“How do you judge the value of expertise on the Web? How does it differ from your notion of expertise in face-to-face settings? Why or why not?

this is a tantalizing question. i think i’ll start by pulling out how i feel about f2f expertise and from the perspective of a learner. in that setting, to ‘do it’ well, you prepare for class by reading what was asked and doing whatever homework was given. you also listen, take notes, participate, ask questions, and listen to others. with readings and homework, there are certain strategies that i employ so that i retain the information. for one, i space readings out so that as a consequence, it comes up more in my day-to-day activities or i think about it more (obviously). i also underline in text and refer/reread back to it or try and tie it in to whatever assignments i can.

when it comes to being in class, i could say that it’s rather easy to judge expertise because if you are participating and asking questions then you are learning, but that’s not always the case. some people are learning just fine watching/listening and from the questions asked by others, and they aren’t participating very much. i don’t pretend to understand that entirely, even with the training and experience as a teacher that i have myself, but i do know it happens. but here’s the tricky part to that last point. participation, when it’s one sided like that, can’t really be called participation since you aren’t contributing or giving back. i need you to respond and speak up and interact with all of us so that i can learn too (same goes for the teacher!). so if you are in class, then while you may be learning something, you’re not helping me much. a teacher can grade you on what you have learned, but what about me as a fellow student? sometimes i wish we could give REAL peer evaluations of each other. i just wish my classmates knew how much i love hearing from them and how beneficial it is for all of us to hear/respond to what they have to say. but i digress!

so how does this differ from how one shows adeptness with learning online? not much, in my opinion. it’s really the same game. you’ve just got different tools to learn about and utilize. but you do have to work harder to go out and learn/explore. if anything, more participation is what can potentially be asked from an online experience. these are reasons why i love this venue.

of course, all of the above depends on how the course is designed. you don’t NEED technology to foster excellence in teaching. it can help, oh yes!, but great teaching and learning isn’t dependent on it. it’s about your design from beginning to end of a piece of learning.

furthermore, so many classes online that i have been in, and NOT this one, haven’t really utilized the medium to it’s fullest capacity. the same things can be done online, but in new and novel ways, however professors tend to stick with reflecting a f2f course (that wasn’t very good to begin with) instead. -sigh-

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1 Comment»

  Kayla Wenting Jiang wrote @

Megan,

I quite like your discussion regard the differences between online expertise and f2f expertise, although online learning/distance education has been developed for few decades, many comments and concerns are still raising about it, one of the most “attracting” point is: how effective online learning/distance education is.


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