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On-line Education, More Than One-way Education?

Martin Stigmar and Peter Karlsudd
University Center for Educational Development Växjö, Sweden
Abstract—The aim of the evaluation research described is by critically examining an in-service education course, to give 25 university teachers a foundation for developing and improving their activities with a focus on flexible learning and ICT-supported education. In the final examination task the participants performed an educational activity with the aim of increasing their own understanding of the area and simultaneously spread the interest in and knowledge of ICTsupported education to colleagues and students. The results show that the degree of freedom offered in the course was not appreciated by all. Too great a freedom of choice may lead to negative consequences for interaction and throughput. This conflicting interest between a desire to maximize flexibility and avoidance of dropouts is problematized. A necessary reconceptualisation in faculty development, from organizing teacher-centred learning situations towards student-centred, is made explicit. This suggests some concrete advice to organizers of flexible education, namely the value of: i) fast feedback; ii) holistic planning; iii) functioning technology; iv) relevant course literature and v) clear goals. The principle of making the participants immediately test their newly acquired knowledge by passing it on to their colleagues was positively received by everyone.

Index Terms—distance learning, flexible learning, ICT, mentorship, pedagogics  

Cite: Martin Stigmar and Peter Karlsudd, "On-line Education, More Than One-way Education?," Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 77-87, August 2009.
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