Landing : Athabascau University

On instructor quality and interaction

Tony Bates has an interesting blog on the year in elearning:

 I respond to one of his comments below.


You say: “but what really matters to many learners is open access to and interaction with quality faculty or instructors, leading to recognized qualifications, ”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our traditional universities were to implement this. Wow! interaction with profs in our 600 student lecture halls. And quality faculty – maybe because they have research degrees, but that doesn’t make them “quality instructors”. How many traditional universities train their faculty in instructions?

Because the idealized view of traditional education does not really exist for the most part (in some cases, I concede it does). I would suggest that informal learners are not missing much by studying independently for a qualification. and gaining a lot by becoming independent learners using the latest technologies.
Happy Xmas


  • I agree Rory. Our self paced students are showing by their registrations and their limited interactions with tutors that they are not really interested in "interaction with quality faculty"  but they certainly are interested in obtaining recognized qualifications.


    TerryAdmin December 14, 2011 - 10:19am

  • Depends on why the interactions are limited. I have noticed significant differences in interaction depending on the course.

    If you take the perspective that recognized qualifications is the only distinct advantage for an institution then all recognized institutions will have to compete on price. When you factor in distance delivery over the internet the competing institutions increase significantly. I would suggest that is in the institutions (including faculty and staff) interests to compete not only on price, but also on student engagement and relationship with faculty. While businesses do this to support retention and loyalty, I suggest institutions could do this for a more satisfying student experience.

    I would argue this is the case whether your organization is focused instruction and/or research.

    Eric von Stackelberg December 15, 2011 - 12:45pm

These comments are moderated. Your comment will not be visible unless accepted by the content owner.

Only simple HTML formatting is allowed and any hyperlinks will be stripped away. If you need to include a URL then please simply type it so that users can copy and paste it if needed.