Appendix 4: Feedback on Activities
Activity 1.9 Main conclusions from Chapter 1
Write down at least five conclusions you would draw as an instructor from this chapter (besides the Key Takeaways)
There are many possible conclusions one could draw, but here are mine:
- Universities and colleges have a broader purpose than just meeting short-term labour market demands. On the other hand, there is a ‘hidden contract’ between the expansion of post-secondary education, and the need to create a work-force that is skilled, adaptable and competitive. I don’t see a necessary conflict here. Many of the activities we consider to be central to the purpose of a university can fulfill these work-force needs with relatively little tweaking.
- The diversity of the student body and the easy availability of content raises the importance of good quality teaching based on sound pedagogical principles and research in learning. This means professionalizing teaching in post-secondary education.
- Technology change is constant. Indeed if anything it is accelerating. New technologies that could be applied in education are being developed all the time. So technology is not going away. It’s no use shutting your eyes and hoping that you can manage without making some decisions about whether to use technology or not in your teaching. The pressure to use technology is going to increase, rather than ease up.
- Relatively few technologies are designed specifically for education. There is more push from manufacturers and technology advocates than pull from instructors. Nevertheless it is clear that over time, many technologies have proved valuable educational tools.
- There’s a lot to choose from, and there are some major differences between tools. Researchers and instructors need to understand the educational differences, if any, between different technologies.
- It is only in the last few years that technology has started to make major changes to the way we deliver education. Distance education and online learning were more of a fringe or peripheral activity to the main provision of learning, which was in classrooms and on campuses. But this is definitely beginning to change. Technology is forcing us to examine more fundamentally the purpose and process of teaching, what constitutes valid knowledge, and how best to acquire it.
- All this means you need some kind of framework for making decisions about whether or not to use a technology, and how best to use it. This is the main purpose of this book.