Online learning environments in higher education: Connectivism vs. dissociation
Over the last decade online education has emerged as a way for students and faculty to collaborate more freely, attain greater flexibility, and utilize new media to learn. The burning debate lies in whether online educational options are harmful to traditional education or offer endless benefits necessary to accommodate a 21st century learner. Supporters of virtual learning environments suggest that 21st century learners require the construction and creation capabilities offered through Web 2.0 to succeed while critics suggest that asynchronous interactions are not engaging and rigorous enough for higher education. A balanced online environment should provide a blend of both asynchronous and synchronous opportunities, which promote communication and collaboration among classmates and instructors.
KeywordsDistance learning Connectivism Hybrid Synchronous Asynchronous Blended learning Web 2.0 New media Virtual learning 21st century skills
- Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2006). Making the grade: Online education in the United States. Needham: Sloan Consortium.Google Scholar
- Bakhtin, M. (1981). The dialogic imagination. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
- Belisle, C., Rawlings, A. & Van Seventer, C. (2001) The educational multimedia taskforce 1995-2001: Integrated research effort on multimedia education and training. Luxembourg: European Commission. Retrieved from: http://www.cordis.lu/ist/ka3/eat/training_publ.htm.
- Bell, F. (2011). Connectivism: its place in theory-informed research and innovation in technology-enabled learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3), 98–118.Google Scholar
- Edwards, S. (2010). Teaching through assessment: The merging of technology and assessment in teacher education learning contexts. Paper presented at ACE2010: Digital Diversity Conference, Melbourne.Google Scholar
- Jaschik, S. (2009). The evidence on online education. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/29/online.
- Lynch, A. (1996). Thought contagion. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Mayadas, A., Bourne, J., & Bacsich, P. (2009). Online education today. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(2), 49–56.Google Scholar
- McCann, J., & Holt, R. (2009). An exploration of burnout among online university professors. Journal of Distance Education, 23(3), 97–110.Google Scholar
- Moloney, J. F., & Oakley, B. (2010). Scaling online education: increasing access to higher education. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 14(1), 55–70.Google Scholar
- Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and other 21st century social media literacies. Educause Review, 45(5), 14–24.Google Scholar
- Ribsaman, M. (2000). What is distance education? Defining the concepts and terms which have characterized the field. Retrieved from http://www.distance-educator.Com/index1a101600.phtml.
- Seaman, I. E., & Allen, J. (2010). Class differences, online education in the United States, 2010. Babson Park: Babson Survey Research Group.Google Scholar
- Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
- U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology. (2010). Transforming American education–Learning powered by technology. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010-execsumm.pdf.
- Waites, T., & Lewis, L. (2003). Distance education at degree-granting postsecondary institutions 2000-2001. Washington: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics.Google Scholar