My Saturday mornings are typically spent with a cup of coffee or two or three, surrounded by various screens, catching up on the news of the week. I used to subscribe to a lot of newspapers. These days I subscribe to RSS feeds and I follow some really smart people on Twitter. Long way of saying that I had lots of "reading" to look forward to this morning. And then I got struck by a proverbial bolt of lightning.
Maybe it was finally having the time to simultaneously "background process" on several of the articles I tweeted on Friday (Hint to non-tweeters: click on the link with the https://, it is a shortened url that will take you to the report or article):
- Very nice RT @toddahitchcock: Another gr8 pub from our friends at SREB > Overcoming Doubts about Online Learning -https://bit.ly/6lemYY
- Bet this will get a few hearts pumping in higher ed tech circles - publics taking advice from proprietaries?? https://bit.ly/7LjCdK (PS read the report, not just the Chronicle summary)
- RT @eLearnMag: online learning from student view: https://bit.ly/52xGUo. Online students are still living in shame? Hmm. Very bad.
Maybe it was that I had just competed trip reports describing some of the highlights from several of the of the elearning conferences that I follow most closely.
Or maybe it was the catalytic effect of the Baily's Irish Cream.
I found myself wondering: if we are all so smart and good and proud and energized about how great elearning/distance learning/ online learning really is....
WHY ARE ONLINE STUDENTS LIVING IN SHAME??
I hadn't planned for yesterday's tweets to be about elearning quality issues, it just happened that way. Which was telling in and of itself. At the very moment elearning in its various forms is finally being seen as a viable alternative to face-to-face learning experiences we are finding the quality question rearing its head with greater and greater frequency, in increasingly critical and pointed ways.
You think I'm kidding? Have you seen this spoof on online learning that played on the US TV program Saturday Night Live this past October??
Go ahead and click on the links, above. You will see that every one of the articles or reports they lead to are pointing to some tough questions about quality in online learning.
So here is my question to you out there in eLearning Land: How is it that we ever-so-smart online learning leaders are allowing our students, our future alumni, our prospective stakeholders - shoot, let's get real, our prospective CUSTOMERS - to be ashamed of online programs and services they buy from us? Could it be that we've been so busy preening and presenting and yipping at each other that we sorta forgot.
Let's get serious. There is no excuse for online students to be living in shameI guess I know what issue I will be bringing to the WCET strategic planning meetings in Boulder this week.