Hear and learn? Horen en leren?

ear, oorMy granddaughter (1 year old) is learning. She discovers ears. When we say ‘where are your ears?’ she touches an ear. So she knows the word ‘ear’. And she wants to touch my ears. She occasionally is touching her ears and does say ‘ear’. She knows the word, but she is playing and repeating. She has to grip the meaning and she must work on reflection and on different uses of the word. Is ‘ear’ the name of my ear, or is that word a name for all ears?
This playing around and connecting the meaning and uses of this word is what advanced learning is about. Some MOOCs are all about remembering facts, and that is basic learning. Some MOOCs are about connecting meaning, and that is advanced learning.

Kristen Domonell in universitybusiness.com writes on the difficulties of universities to keep students in their MOOCs, she has some answers. But online teaching needs online peer to peer connections. “With our courses instructed asynchronously, having peer-to-peer, student-to-student communication throughout the program increases the level of commitment to continuing on in the program.” My question Would these connections not only be useful to commitment, but also to reflection and advanced learning?
Mijn kleindochter (1 jaar oud) is aan het leren. Ze ontdekt  oren. Als we zeggen ‘waar zijn je oren?’ raakt ze een oor aan. Dus kent ze het woord ‘oor’. En ze wil mijn oren aanraken. Af en toe  raakt ze haar oren aan en zegt ‘oor’. Ze kent  het woord, maar ze blijft ermee spelen en herhalen. Ze werkt aan de betekenis en ze moet ermee spelen.  Is ‘oor’  de naam van mijn oor, of is dat woord een naam voor alle oren?
Dat spelen en verbinding maken met de betekenis en het gebruik van dit woord is geavanceerde leren. Sommige MOOCs gaan over feiten, en dat is basaal leren. Sommige MOOCs gaan over het verbinden van betekenissen, en dat is gevorderd leren.
Kristen Domonell in universitybusiness.com schrijft over de problemen van de universiteiten om studenten in hun MOOCs vast te houden, ze heeft enkele antwoorden. Maar online onderwijs heeft online peer-to-peer verbindingen nodig. “Met onze cursussen geïnstrueerd asynchroon, met peer-to-peer, student-student contacten in het hele programma verhoogt het niveau van betrokkenheid bij de in het programma voort.” Mijn vraag: zou deze verbindingen niet alleen nuttig zijn voor inzet, maar ook voor reflectie en geavanceerde leren?

One thought on “Hear and learn? Horen en leren?

  1. Interesting article on retaining online students. To me building relationships is critical. Our instructor with the highest retention rate gets right into her students lives and difficulties. For many she’s the first adult to show simple concern and expectations. We have received feedback from the Ministry of Education that her courses are too personal for higher education but they can’t argue for long against something that works.

    The other points that might increase retention are fairly obvious housekeeping. Like introductory to technology courses, expecting teachers to be good at their job and student services helping with educational planning. Unfortunately, all these features cost money the schools didn’t expect to be paying out when they entered the world of LOW-COST distributed education. Building courses, every day our office is reminded to be efficient and productive and I think the logic is in the notion that education is built on a time-to-idea race and not thinking at all.

    Another difficulty is captured in the term “non-traditional” students. These people are strangers to the many assumptions and values of middle class kids groomed from birth for higher education. For them, self-expression and talking back to authority are entirely outside their experience and I don’t think colleges and universities really honour the lives these kids have lived. The fact is, up until there was a “crisis in education” institutions didn’t even see these people. How do you teach those you are unable to motivate, share no experiences with and until only recently had very elaborate tests and assessments that barred them from your institution?

    Alternately, this might be the change agent for education. Instead of spoon feeding harmless content into pre-civilized “traditionals” (who are in line to get a job with their uncle no matter how they do in school), we will be faced with teaching kids who need to be smart to get by. Have to reinvent the whole thing.

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