Online learning in its current iterations will fail.
The failure of online education programs is not logistical, nor political, nor economic: it’s cultural, rooted in our perspectives and biases about how learning happens and how the internet works (these things too often seen in opposition). For learning to change drastically -- a trajectory suggested but not yet realized by the rise of MOOCs -- teaching must change drastically. And in order for that to happen, we must conceive of the activity of teaching, as an occupation and preoccupation, in entirely new and unexpected ways. We must unseat ourselves, unnerve ourselves. Online learning is uncomfortable, and so educators must become uncomfortable in their positions as teachers and pedagogues. And the administration of online programs must follow suit.
It’s important for us to be very specific about what we mean by failure. There are two kinds of failure we want to discuss here. The first kind of failure -- an improper failure -- does damage, breeds limitations, shuts down critical thinking, and disengages us from our pedagogical or learning processes. Our ethical commitment to students and the enterprise of education is too strong to abide this kind of failure.
Via Irina Radchenko