Friday, October 10, 2014

Transformational Teaching: A New Frontier in E-Learning

The question that still remains is how do we make digital native more effective e-learners? Part of the answer lies with how the instructor approaches teaching and learning. Transformational teaching is an approach based upon the following understandings:

  1. The model and vision of education is that the instructors and learners are in a learning relationship that sees the role of the instructor and learner as agents of change within society. Due to the evolution of technology, the Internet and the desire of society to develop a culture of innovation, the need for educated agents of change is essential.
  2. Working within the online environment with students who have always been connected to the web requires a different approach in the design and instruction of courses. Unlike the practices of the past, it is not reasonable to instruct students to simply gather and repeat content in order to move on in their education. Irresistibly engaging learning experiences that lead students to deeper learning and enable them to be creators of new knowledge and new skill sets needs to become an established norm throughout all levels of education.
  3. Cross disciplinary learning that requires students to use the skills and knowledge of more than one discipline to solve real world issues and have ties to feed back in regards to their solutions from these disciplines is essential.
  4. Collaboration among students tasked to solve real world issues is an essential to this approach.
  5. The formation of real world professional mentor networks whose purpose is to act as a resource as students become new knowledge and skill set creators is important. This coincides with the understanding that cross disciplinary learning is the approach to follow in transformative teaching.
  6. Educators are to form global collaborative networks in order to test and promote an online transformative pedagogy. A symbiotic relationship is to be established among three important elements for transformation: technology, change management and pedagogy.
  7. Students will have ample opportunity to publish their solutions in social media venues and on professional discipline blogs so that they receive real world feedback from those on the cutting edge of their disciplines. This will allow more individual networks with people in the fields that students are most interested in to form.

The purpose of transformative teaching is to teach students how to learn and how to explore and create new knowledge and skill sets that tackle real world scenarios. It is not just to be an isolated classroom experience but instead it is to be global in outlook.

Next post....practical tips for helping e-learners.

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