Information, Learning & Feedback

If you have access to the Internet, then there is no shortage of information. For most formal learning settings, access to information is not a barrier. Therefore, I would suggest that content dissemination is not a major requirement of the instructor in any networked environment, and that includes schools, where students may have Internet access outside the classroom. Information is everywhere.

The recent post by Susan Nash at The eLearning Queen focuses on some of the ways that feedback, through active listening, can be given in an online class. I questioned Susan whether there were similarities with practise & feedback loops when learning a physical skill, as I had previously posted. Susan responded with some more insights and so the conversation continues.

My memory of formal teaching courses, in the military, at some professional development sessions or during my graduate studies, does not include much focus on the various types of feedback, and how best to use them. It seems to me that in this era of open source content, like MIT OCW or Google, then a major job of the instructor is to provide feedback at the appropriate times. Online learning is retrieving the master-apprentice model but with a twist, as the apprentice today may have access to more information (not necessarily knowledge) than the master. Instructors today need to master the teaching processes, not necessarily the content, but are our schools of education and our training programs preparing them for this environment?

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