As we have been training APUS faculty who will serve as mentors and subject matter experts in the new APUS Momentum competency-based education program, we have used the analogy of putting our students in the driver’s seat of their educational journey. And right there with them in the passenger seat is the faculty mentor, acting as navigator based on the student’s personalized learning map. Waiting in the ‘pit,’ by extension, is the “crew” of subject matter experts that will provide the student with all they need in order to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to master the discipline competencies.
When I tell people that I am a professor of history in an online classroom they sometimes frown skeptically and ask, “How does that work?” Some who have never experienced distance learning perceive my work as a substandard replica of a traditional classroom. They ask, “How can you interact with your students?” Or they exclaim, “Your poor students can’t pay attention to lectures through a computer screen!”
My reaction is first to tell them that they must have never had a professor at a brick-and-mortar university drone on from behind a podium in front of a large classroom. My point? The venue does not guarantee the value of the education.
What competitive advantages do face-to-face business schools have over online providers?
Face-to-face programs may be able to develop more personalized relationships with their students. However, online programs provide students with the convenience and flexibility that face-to-face programs are unable to. Face-to-face may also provide more of a sense of community, whereas online offers a sense of independence.
In the past, innovation often has been a bit selfish because the inventor wants to lay claim to the idea, the new technology or the process change. Today, innovation in technology and process is paving the road to the future and opening the doors to education.
By: Karen Vendouern-Srba, Associate Vice President of Academic & Instructional Technology
The Academic & Instructional Technology team is a small and focused group with many diverse responsibilities and expertise. One of those focused areas is providing instructional pedagogy and learning theory to courses to enhance student learning. The team responsible for this is the eLearning team within Academic & Instructional Technology and multimedia developers.