Landing : Athabascau University

Pushing boundaries: why e-learning is not like p-learning (E-Learn 2015 slides)

Slides from my presentation at E-Learn 2015. Basically, the argument is that, online, we are using pedagogies that only ever made sense because of the constraints of physical classrooms. Most of our great e-learning innovations in education have been no more than tinkering with the carburetor without considering the engine, let alone the vehicle. Meanwhile, despite this, an overwhelming amount of learning is occurring online, outside or crossing blurred boundaries of the educational machine. The last slides start to consider what value institutional learning may still bring, and where existing online tools may fall a little short of replacing educational systems as we know them.

Abstract: The activities of face-to-face learners sit neatly within well-defined boundaries: classroom walls, timetabled periods, well understood implicit and explicit rules of behaviour and social segregation into well-organized groups.  As a result, a wide range of teaching methods has evolved that are fitted to those boundaries. For most online learners, boundaries are more fluid, open, permeable and fuzzy.  Simply transferring pedagogies of bounded spaces to an online setting therefore rarely works well. This paper is an exploration of the boundaries that can and do exist in both physical learning (p-learning) and in online learning (e-learning), and the implications of the removal of physical boundaries to online pedagogies. Some broad comparisons are made, and an argument that e-learning pedagogies should be divorced from their physical origins is presented.


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