Landing : Athabascau University

in-person vs self-paced online learning

This is the (single) slide from my 3 minute pitch at the OUNL 2019 research day in Heerlen, April 2019. It's meant to describe the inverse strengths and weaknesses of typical in-person teaching vs self-paced online learning, in terms of support for intrinsic motivation. Essentially, typical in-person teaching (especially the lecture form and its cousins) is great for relatedness, really bad for autonomy and mostly weak for competence support, while self-paced online learning is typically great for autonomy, not bad for competence support, but pretty dire for relatedness. In both modalities, typical teaching tends to greatly exacerbate the weaknesses by, instead of finding ways to reduce the weaknesses, substituting externally regulated extrinsic motivation, which does a great job of killing any intrinsic motivation that learners have at the start.  Obviously (because a few learners in such systems are intrinsically motivated), there are ways to do things in either modality that can largely, if not completely, overcome the typical weaknesses, and that's where my research begins. Solutions are not just pedagogical: in either modality, they must orchestrate a wide assortment of other tools, methods, processes, and structures, and they must involve passion, caring, and creativity. Essentially, therefore, this is about technology, and how we use it.


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