A moment of clarity on the role of technology in teaching

Posted on May 19th, 2016

Phil Hill, co-publisher of the e-Literate blog, looks at the importance of effective learning design in online learning. He points to a recent report by the MIT Online Education Policy Initiative which discusses how “online education and online tools can enable advances in effective pedagogical approaches, including constructivism, active learning, flipped classrooms, problem-based learning, and student-centered education.” However, he says, education needs to be backed by sound pedagogical design. Hill discusses a recent lawsuit against George Washington University for negligence and misleading claims. Four students who took an online master’s degree in security and safety leadership alleged that the classes did not have instruction from professors assigned to the course and that materials were taken from other instructors’ in-class lessons. Hill suggests that the lawsuit and the MIT report make the case for institutions to be intentional about learning design in online learning. He writes, “The challenge is how to get the organization—at the institutional level or at the program level—to identify and expand ideas that work based on sound learning design and real evaluation of what works and what doesn’t.”