Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Intriguing Question of Day at ATS

I'm at the Chief Academic Officers part of the Association of Theological Schools meeting in Minneapolis today.  Here is the random question someone asked that I found most intriguing today:

When so many great learning videos are online, when students can watch instructors at MIT online, what will we do in the traditional classroom to make it worth the educational consumer's while?  Assuming they're not going to come to our colleges to hear us lecture--since whether we like it or not there's a good chance they can get better on YouTube at home--how will we change the college classroom so that it gives a student something they can't get in a video lecture they find on the web?

6 comments:

Barton Price said...

It will have to be collaborative learning in face-to-face settings.

Ken Schenck said...

I agree. It's going to have to be them doing something with what they've watched for homework, applying it, solidifying it, evaluating it, etc. It probably should have always been this way with what they read for homework. While have them read a book if a teacher is simply going to lecture the same material all over again in class? But maybe we'll get it right this time...

π² said...

I think it may come down to quality and recognition of the learning from society. Most You Tube lectures do not provide all the material (questions, PowerPoint slides, interaction, handouts, etc.) that I would expect from a quality on-site professor. Also, those videos are only good for personal enrichment. A video can show me how to change the water mixing valve for my tub, but I still wouldn't get credit towards becoming a journeyman plumber. Quality and accredited online learning may force traditional institutions to transform or die, but not simply putting more "learning opportunities" out on the web. In fact, a truly quality instructional production online would make me more likely to want to attend the actual school. Even just one lecture, not necessarily the whole course, would be a great commercial for the institution.

Rick D said...

These are terrific questions. Tony Jones has been blogging lately about his experience leading a DMin cohort through the Boundary Waters Experience in Northern Minnesota:

"In the past week, all ten DMin students in Christian Spirituality cohort have seen me in my pajamas. They’ve thrown sticks for my dog, and they’ve broken bread with my spouse. They’ve gotten to know me, and I them. The professor-student relationship has been recast, and the barriers inherent in those roles have — I hope — been at least partially torn down.

Leading an ecclesial community is not like leading a business or teaching in a public school or being a social worker or marriage therapist. Being a pastor is, I daresay, a unique vocation, and it demands a unique training.

It demands, I think, a shared life between “student” and “teacher.” And, I daresay, that doesn’t usually happen in the forensic environment of the traditional classroom."

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2012/06/20/what-seminary-education-ought-to-be-part-three/

John C. Gardner said...

Lectures would need to be supplemented with seminar papers, discussions, research, practical application, use of primary sources, etc. Lectures to complete or further analyze U-Tube presentations would also be possible

Barton Price said...

Some other good ideas here, but much of that can be done online. Future pastors have to develop the interpersonal skills necessary for effective ministry, and online learning is not conducive. How can they lead a board meeting or sit through district committees if they do not have experience working in problem-solving teams? I've heard too often that pastors are detached from their parishioners. There's a church where we've attended whose only outreach is through mailings. If we want incarnational ministry, then we have to create incarnational teaching and learning.