Designing Online Learning: A Primer for Librarians

Designing Online Learning: A Primer for Librarians

Designing Online Learning: A Primer for Librarians

Designing Online Learning: A Primer for Librarians

Synopsis

This book provides an introduction and helpful guide to online education for librarians and educators in the K–12, public, and academic library settings.

Excerpt

My 10 years or so in online education have been an adventure, and one in which I have probably learned more—and more about myself—than ever before. There are more than a few reasons for this, but as I look back I think the main reason is that in the days when I first entered the domain of online education, it was new and largely uncharted territory, and it quickly became clear that many of the old habits and tricks of teaching that had worked in the traditional classroom wouldn’t work. Invention was the order of the day, and I was at a point in my life and career where the need to invent, however feeble my inventions proved to be, made the prospect of online education all the more attractive.

What I didn’t fully understand when we began planning an online program at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences in 2000 was that online education was about further empowering students (by giving them a new array of choices about how, when, and where to learn). Nor did I fully understand that online education was, among other things, a real and constructive threat to an educational order that was characterized by old hierarchies, smug complacency, and more than a little intellectual stagnation. The realization that online education was something genuinely new and important came slowly—I am, in general, discouragingly slow on the uptake—but I know that it began—the realization, that is—in the summer of 2001. When our program’s first cohort of students came to campus for a few days about midway through their first term, it became clear that they had formed strong personal bonds in a matter of eight weeks, working separately and together in an online learning environment (supplemented by the use of various personal technologies, most notably cell phones). It also became clear that there were dimensions to this process that didn’t occur in face-to-face classrooms and that could not be duplicated in traditional education settings. More than 10 years on, I am not appreciably better at articulating what I saw and felt when those students came together for the first time, save to say that it convinced me that online education represented an opportunity to break out of old, tired molds and get about the challenging business of rethinking how best to educate people.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.