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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Nish Sonwalkar

Despite the predictions and expectations that the online education will become a “killer app” and with major impact on education, the first generation of online education has led

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite the predictions and expectations that the online education will become a “killer app” and with major impact on education, the first generation of online education has led to more disappointments than success stories. The current – one‐size‐fits‐all static approach is extremely ineffective and leads to increased effort on the part of faculty and instructors teaching online courses. This paper discusses adaptive learning as an alternative transfer of traditional structures from a geographically‐based to an online setting.

Design/methodology/approach

This article begins with an overview of the development of online education, and concludes that its initial promise has not been fulfilled because the innovations in technology have not been accompanied by any corresponding changes in the way classrooms are structured. It then proposes adaptive learning as a means by which, with the help of digital resources, learning can be adjusted to the needs and interests of individual students.

Findings

To improve current state‐of‐art and to increase effectiveness of the online education, systems that can adapt the content to match the learning preference of the individual learners, termed as the “adaptive learning systems,” are needed. Systems that will support adaptive learning in a university and college environment will facilitate a paradigm shift for instructors to “guide‐on‐the‐side” from “sage‐on‐the‐stage.”

Originality/value

This opinion piece argues the need for a massive restructuring of higher education, using a student‐centered model.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Boria Sax

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue of On the Horizon, which is devoted to the next wave of innovation in online education; analyzes the traditional

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue of On the Horizon, which is devoted to the next wave of innovation in online education; analyzes the traditional tension between the realm of books and reality, and to examine ways it which this may be influenced by digital technologies; and reviews possible alternatives to the structure of the traditional classroom for online education.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the work of Hans Blumenberg, this article begins with analysis of the malaise that pervaded literary culture on the threshold of the digital age. It evaluates various educational structures and technologies as attempts to respond to this challenge.

Findings

Books not only contain but also structure learning, in fact they condition our expectations of what “knowledge” would be. The world of books has traditionally been opposed to that of “experience,” but digital technologies now provide new means of storing knowledge that transcend this dichotomy. This is a major change in the structure of knowledge, which will eventually transform our institutions of higher education.

Originality/value

This article shows how the development of digital media was not simply driven by technology but was a response to the exhaustion of literary traditions, as thinkers began to doubt whether there was anything more worth putting in print. This perspective enables the article to go beyond the technological determinism that pervades much futuristic writing, and suggest how we may innovate, particularly in education, while retaining continuity with the past.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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