Delivering Learning on the Net: The Why, What & How of Online Education

Delivering Learning on the Net: The Why, What & How of Online Education

Delivering Learning on the Net: The Why, What & How of Online Education

Delivering Learning on the Net: The Why, What & How of Online Education

Synopsis

Educators cannot ignore the net or its implications for their course or institution, but where to begin? Good Web-based education is complex, and does not occur in a vacuum. The educational, administrative and organizational aspects all need to be understood - in addition to a sound understanding and vision of the requirements of online technologies.Simple, straightforward and direct, this book will guide readers through each of these issues. This is not a book for those fixated by technology. Instead, it will show any educator, teacher, or indeed trainer, how to understand and develop effective online courses. It avoids reducing the issues of good Web-based education to a simplistic cook book approach: this is not possible for anything other than the most basic material. Rather, it clearly and authoritatively develops an understanding of the basic principles, and essential components of good online education.

Excerpt

The recent decision by the UK government to increase the participation rate of 18-to 30-year-olds in higher education to 50 per cent by the year 2010 represents a major national challenge and a unique opportunity. In the current financial climate it will simply not be possible to 'scale up' provision, increase staff numbers and fund another 75 universities. We will have to teach in some other way: online learning via the Net offers a means of doing so. Needless to say, this is not a challenge unique to the UK. It is one that both developed and developing countries are facing, and is why this book is so timely.

Whether you are an 'early adopter' or one of the 'late majority'-a teacher, trainer, administrator or decision maker-you will find the arguments persuasive. In particular, I believe you will be convinced that the future of online learning is as a medium for communication, not a delivery method; it will be an online learning environment where pedagogy and technology are interrelated and where interaction is paramount.

The good news is that you do not need to be a 'techie' to read and benefit from Delivering Learning on the Net. Martin has succeeded in assembling an extremely informative and thought-provoking book that is deceptively simple in its style-a difficult balance to achieve. The book also complements several existing titles in the Kogan Page 'Open and Distance Learning Series', adding to the significant body of work that they represent. His discussion of the pedagogy provides an invaluable link to Learning and Teaching in Distance Education by Otto Peters and to Flexible Learning in a Digital World by Betty Collis and Jeff Moonen. His references to the role of facilitators of online learning will introduce you to the world of E-Moderating by Gilly Salmon, while the prospect of a virtual university and resource-based learning is extended by Steve Ryan and his co-authors in The Virtual University. The insights Martin provides in his description of the highly successful Open University course 'T171 You, Your Computer and the Net' complement the case studies offered by Tom Vincent and Marc Eisenstadt in The Knowledge Web and by Fred Lockwood and Anne Gooley in Innovations in Open and Distance Learning.

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