SCoPE: WebCT & Blackboard Merger: November 21-December 4, 2005

What Was Your Reaction When You Heard the News?

But Consider Pink Floyd and Lloyd Dennis

by Elizabeth Wallace -
Number of replies: 0

So it may be time to reminisce about Pink Floyd (We don't need no education... We don't need no thought control) and why the challenges of designing online learning experiences are an uphill battle against prevailing educational norms. 

Jason also said: "They are a bright bunch these students (in terms of technology use)". True in many cases. But I'd like to make the point that although young students, in particular, are very fluent in their use of technology, but that doesn't mean to say that they are skilled in using an LMS, no matter how well designed and presented.

One problem is that today's students (like yesterday's students, and students for the past 150 years) are products of the Industrial Age model of factory schooling. The lessons they learn from K-12 schooling are that rewards are given to those who follow the rules, don't question the teacher and never suggest a different curriculum or an alternative approach to learning. Those who break the rules, don't do what is expected or question the establishment are often pushed off the conveyor belt and end up in the "rejected" pile.

Barb hints at the need for collaborative models, and many of us dream of co-constructed learning environments, instead of the long institutional hallways where teachers teach what they must behind closed doors. Anyone remember Lloyd Dennis's Living and Learning Report of 1968, and the experiments in schools that tore down walls and created open spaces for teaching and learning?  Far too revolutionary, and ended all too soon.

Anyway, in case anyone has missed my point in this ramble into my distant past, students do not know how to learn in an LMS environment. They wait to be told what to do, they submit assignments when asked, they contribute to discussions only because there's a grade. Sad.