Theory…

October 15, 2009

When scanning through Stephen Downes blog, he referred to an article by Randy Garrison examining “the foundational principles and practices of distance education in the context of recent developments in the areas of online learning.” Mr. Garrison states that, “In the current culture of connectivity, the relevance of distance education may well be dependent upon developing and communicating a coherent theory that can accommodate transformational developments reflected in [online learning (OLL)] innovations.” In my finite knowledge I understood what Mr. Garrison was saying and could agree.  However, Mr. Downes’ (far more adept than I) states that Garrison makes an error is in his approach; Garrison depicts online learning as rooted in literature but not actual practice “a direct descendant of instructional technology and computer-assisted instruction,” whereas Mr. Downes theoretical approach is rooted in distance education and online gaming.  Which I could agree with this approach as well.  So I will sit on the fence and allow more intelligent individuals to write about this topic and draw better conclusions that I.

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