THE CLASSROOM AND THE COMPUTER SCREEN Online Education - Page 12

learning that calls for drill and They can grow their student memorization. enrollment without growing their The downside to this sort of faculty. The tradeoff comes at interactive lesson—even the better- education’s expense, for canned designed ones—is that the interaction courses—automated and “self-paced” they boast of is robotic and impersonal. courses—do not foster either sympathy These lessons still lack the living or fellowship. Sympathy and fellowship presence of a teacher (or computer are qualities of human interaction, but programmer) who For example, in flipped- invests in the classroom settings, students success of particular might complete a self-paced students known to lesson in preparation for a later him. Promoters of activity that demands these automated interaction with the teacher and courses expose their with other students. lack of meaningful not of robotic interaction. While canned lessons deliver a weak education by themselves, they might serve as helpful components teacher-student interaction when they that skilled teachers fashion into great advertise that students can progress at lessons. For example, in flipped- their own pace. Such courses are “self- classroom settings, students might paced” only because students and complete a self-paced lesson in teachers will never interact with one preparation for a later activity that another, leaving no need to set demands interaction with the teacher deadlines or coordinate calendars. and with other students. Here, Self-paced courses do fit with a automated interactive lessons function profitable business model. Those who much like conventional reading build them can make a one-time assignments or problem sets: they investment in a teacher (and direct a student’s preparatory work programmers) to create lessons on the outside of class, work that sets the front end; then they sell their canned stage for personal interactions in class. product to buyers without having to Canned, automated lessons—like bother with the teacher ever again. conventional textbooks and 12