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Drawing from the other side of the modem


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Drawing from the other side of the modem

  1. 1. Drawing from the Other Side of the Modem: Teaching Writing Online<br /> Creativity through Myth and Hybrid Composition<br /> <br />Dr. Batya Weinbaum, CDL Instructor<br />Workshop Presentation<br />Center for Distance Learning Conference 2001<br />Opening Minds: Learning from the Past—Shaping the Future<br />9:45am  Ap 30  Room 145<br /> <br />We have traditionally defined education as a relationship between the teacher and the learner, where the teacher defined the curricular material to be read, created the assignments, and the student carried out the directions in order to receive a grade, to advance to the next square on the board game towards the diploma and then forward back into the real world of life. The teacher always decided how the knowledge and skills should be taught, and designed the processes of how people should learn (Hase and Kenyon). Even in a face-to-face situation, this was generally carried out in an individualized process. In short, teachers directed learning; like children, learners followed directions(Conner). Then the system spat them back out.However, teaching adult students online with materials selected and designed by course designers, instructors now operate within a different context. Materials are pre-selected and assignments pre-designed; plus, we work with learners who are still situated within their own lives and need to be related to as adults. What the instructor can do is rise to this situation and shift to student-centered learning. We can become facilitators of how the intent of those assignments can be carried out. We can choose to facilitate self-directed learning experiences selected and perhaps even suggested by the students themselves rather than to focus on instruction. Such a process commits us to valuing what people want to learn and upholds their natural inclination to decide how to do so, particularly at different stages of life as self-selected returning students. With the rapid rate of change in society and the information explosion, as well as the diverse populations and differing circumstances of the students on the other side of the modem, we have the responsibility to vary the packages we offer as individual instructors to allow the learners to determine what and how learning should take place, in accordance with different abilities and learning styles. As Hase and Kenyon have pointed out, heutagogy, the study of self-determined learning, “may be viewed as a natural progression from earlier educational methodologies…and may well provide the optimal approach to learning in the twenty-first century.” These and other scholars now discuss distinctions Malcolm Knowles made in 1970 between how adults and children learn that transformed face-to-face teaching and provided a rationale for distance education based on the notion of self-directedness. Knowles, in proposing the use of andragogy, a word used in Germany since 1833 and extensively in Yugoslavia, France and Holland, as well as in the US in 1927 (Conner), defined self-directed learning as the process by which individuals take the initiative with or without the help of others in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals… and in choosing how to implement learning strategies and evaluate learning outcomes” (1970, 7). His book has since become reprinted as a classic. (1998)However useful as an advance, Hase and Kenyon suggest that heutagogy is an even less linear approach than andragogy, where a person can get an idea, or see a potential to learn from a novel experience, and pursue this project independently to the end point of seeing how their own proposed practical engagement might challenge or support existing values and assumptions.In this workshop, I use these terms to analyze and discuss what has occurred in my teaching of a course called Myth and Modern Life at Empire State College Center for Distance Learning, and in a hybrid course in composition which I designed and taught myself at East Carolina University. I share how both experiences altered my perception of the pedagogical/andragogical/heutagogical process, my view of myself as a teacher, and my respect for technology in the construction of a superlative learning experience. Then I would like to invite discussion of inviting the lead from the “the other side of the modem” by others present in the workshop.   <br />Works Cited<br />Conner, Marcia L. “Andagogy  and Pedagogy.”   Ageless Learner, 1997-2004.<br />Dewar, Tammy. Adult Learning Online. 1999.<br />Hase, Stewart and Chris Kenyon. “From Andragogy to Heutagogy.”<br />Knowles, Malcolm. The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.<br />--- The Modern Practice of Adult Education: Andragogy versus Pedagogy. New York: Association Press, 1970.<br />Creating New Scholars:  Using Scholarly Journals to Teach about the Nature of Thinking in Undergraduate Coursework.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing, Winter 2010-2011.<br />