Are Physical School Settings Necessary?

Please respond to the discussion question “Are face-to-face, large school setting, still necessary? How has/can/will technology impact the look and feel of future school settings?”

“Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall”

I’m going to take a slightly different approach to the question for this week and talk more about the large face-to-face classroom in higher education. I do think that this approach will soon be replaced with alternatives that have been impacted by technology. One of UAF eLearning’s computer science course this semester is using a Udacity MOOC from Stanford as the basis for the material for the course. Students access the materials on the MOOC that were prepared but some of the top-notch experts in the field. The material are highly produced ($$). The UAF instructor is acting as guide and mentor to the students who are meeting both face-to-face and online. Both types of students are using Google Plus for class discussion and communications, as well as some sharing of assignments. From my understanding, the real “class time” is used for activities and for completing assignments which the online students are doing more on their own. The instructor is acting more like a guide, as suggested by Kelly in her post. i think that this model is a possibility for other types of classes, as long as the quality of the MOOC being used is reviewed and approved. Is this model scaleable — could the current instructor handle twice the number of students he currently has (I think he has about 55 students in two sections) with the same degree of feedback? It probably depends on how accepting more students fit into his workload or if he is given a TA for assistance. I see this as a win-win situation making the best of resources.



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