"OLD WAYS WON'T OPEN NEW DOORS"

Current online learning pedagogical practices typically enact a predictable and mainstream approach:

  • Faculty own and drive the instructional pace, often approaching course design through a linear content coverage model. Course outcomes and goals often follow ‘textbook’ chapters or disciplinary standards. Course work is geared toward ‘average’ students providing one pathway for content mastering; limiting opportunities for all students to be engaged, challenged, and have opportunities to develop deeper understandings and breadth of content.

  • Courses are heavily driven by textbook coverage or meeting standards with faculty following the prescribed content as a tool for course design. Flipped classrooms still rely on textbook (e-book) instruction. The textbook is the central tool in almost all instruction with 89 % of instructional time structured around textbooks or some other instructional materials.

  • Assessment practices primarily rely on summative information with few opportunities for formative feedback to drive instructional practices and inform students of their progress. Rarely do students reflect on the broader questions of the value of learning for learning sake.

  • Modules offer some opportunities for differentiated instruction and for students to ‘own’ their learning by providing flexibility in learning course content. The use of modules can still fall into a linear course design approach. Course content is sometimes connected to authentic contexts for relevance and engagement but course content typically stands alone – maintaining a silo effect to learning.

  • Student collaboration is often predictable; students post on a discussion board and respond to two peer postings. While this is a form of collaboration it lacks the interactive nature of learning and engagement and pretty much places students as passive recipients of faculty-driven instruction.

  • The use of media (audio, video) can be present but typically positions students as passive receptacles of information rather than curators. Lecture by videos is still a lecture. Current practices of ‘flipping’ classrooms haven’t produced transformative learning.

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