Sunday, February 26, 2012

"A Manifesto for Teaching Online"

Looking at the related site for this video, I am so pleased to see these tenets come forward. It articulates many of the really critical ideas, beginning with the very statement that online is not lesser, but a "difference of location."

Ever since I first learned about Moore's definition of distance as a 'psychological construct," I thought about how a person could as much experience distance in a physical classroom, let alone online. And this is only the beginning of all this manifesto expresses.

Also memorable is the tenet is that "Each course design is the expression of a philosophy and practice."

I found this next statement to be quite provocative: "Teaching should not be downgraded to facilitation." I've been calling what I do facilitation in that it describes a guide role rather than the traditional instructor at the front. Yet this statement surfaced something that has really been part of my practice--to bring resources and opportunities to the online course in response to learning needs, interests, and requests. And the flexibility to do so can happen if course elements are not locked down.

Originating from the University of Edinborough, "It is a series of brief statements that attempt to capture what is generative and productive about online teaching, course design, writing, assessment and community."

A manifesto for teaching online from Jen Ross on Vimeo.

I encourage you to visit the accompanying website. Visiting the site will provide more information on its intention--to forward dialogue about these ideas:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alice

    I'm one of the authors of the manifesto, and wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for your recommendation. It's great to see the manifesto is getting some attention.

    I'm really pleased you picked up on the point about facilitation. I wonder sometimes if the 'guide on the side' versus 'sage on the stage' has created a bit of a false dichotomy. It often gets stereotyped as basically telling versus facilitating, with facilitating often coming across as being about generic skills. Where does expertise fit between those polarities? What happens to the powerful role assessment brings to the mix? For me, the example of your own practice highlights how key your expertise is - without that expertise, you couldn't guide the learning process in the same way. You're doing more than facilitating.

    If you're interested, we're taking the intention of the manifesto - to provoke thinking about online learning -- a step further. We're encouraging encouraging re-mixes and would welcome them at

    Cheers and thanks again