Saturday, July 2, 2011


In the coming week eduMOOC puts a spotlight on research. What do we know about learning facilitated, enabled, promoted, provided, delivered,(you get the idea) through the Internet? It seems like this question has been with us forever. But, really, the Internet has only been around since the late 1960's and the Web since the early 1990's. Before the Web, there was study of "computer assisted instruction" - some of it networked like the PLATO and the EIES systems. And, research continues into such efforts as MOOCs themselves.

Our discussions of knowledge transfer or knowledge silos or shared experiences with varied contexts, all lend themselves to theory and research. And this leads to questions of how is this done best, or as good as, or better than, or different than. And, for whom does the online (school) bell toll? Or, the virtual personal learning bell?

So, it is with great anticipation that I await our readings, discussions and panel on research questions. It is research that identifies best practices, that uncovers new possibilities, that opens the minds of people to the potential of online learning.

Karen Swan, Phil Ice and Ben Arbaugh will comprise the expert panel on research in online learning. They will draw on their experiences in conducting research studies to help us get a better understanding of what we have collectively learned so far about online learning. And that is what I am anticipating most; the chance to hear these leaders in research talking together!

Much to look forward to. And, I look forward to "seeing" you in the discussions online.

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