Re: question on removing the teacher/trainer

Subject: Re: question on removing the teacher/trainer
From: Kandis Weiner <kandis -at- toonboom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 17:03:24 -0500

Alexander Friedlander wrote:

> In other words, does anyone really learn anything this way? Can you
> get rid of the human teacher if you have good enough courseware, or
> do you always need a human to go with it? If so, how much human
> interaction?

Computers can never replace humans when it comes to creating really
meaningful and effective learning environments. (How's that for
controversial?!) I'm not talking about just the instructors, but also
the students. We learn better when we have the opportunity to work on
ideas with peers and experts.

Context is also important. Practicing/learning in a realistic context is
very important to being able to transfer that learning to the real

There is so A LOT of research around the ideas of Situated Cognition,
Communities of Practice, and Activity Theory, that I could do the ideas
little justice by summing them up here. But you might do some searches
on these terms to see what research you drum up.

This is not to say that CBT is ineffective. Of course people can and do
learn with CBT!

Well designed CBT or WBT can compensate for the inherent dislocations of
virtual environments. There is a line of research called "No Significant
Difference", which essentially demonstrates that well-designed
instructor lead environments and computer based ones can produce
essentially the same results (mind you, a lot of this research is full
of invective about how computers are not an educational panacea!).

You might also do some searching for Constructivist Learning
Environments and the work of Jonassen to find how-to and research links.

Hope this helps!

ps. I am an Educational Technology MA student. So this question rang a
few bells!

Kandis Weiner
kandis -at- toonboom -dot- com

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