Comments on platforms and courses mentioned in my earlier post.
Intro to Complexity – The Santa Fe Institute
This was a very well designed and delivered course. It begins again Sept 30th for anyone interested.
One difficulty shared by all web-based learning is the disconnect between self and the concepts being learned. The more complex the concept the more you are likely to need interaction with it’s concepts to master it. The web as a knowledge delivery platform demands an extra degree of integration between learner and material. The responsibility to bridge this gap falls entirely on the learner but that doesn’t free the institutions of the need to cross it.
This is likely the largest issue for any learner slogging through video lecture after pdf on top of video lecture between flash-based quizzes in order to grasp that concept they must for whatever reason get a handle on. Designers and educators face a monumental task. Teaching and learning have been done for thousands of years on 2 dimensional static surfaces. When it comes to any college+ level topic taught via the web. The gap between in one ear and out the other and comprehension is narrow. The power of electronic media is only more difficult to properly structure though once it gets there I believe it would have to be more effective.
Reading on a digital surface is highly agitating compared to that good ol’ pulpy stuff we grew up on. There is also something about a lecture in person that makes listening significantly more effective. Perhaps it is that you are captive away from the comfort of your living room and you probably are taking notes at the very least because you lack other distraction. Perhaps it is the magic of sound created with a vocal cord and transmitted through the air as opposed to a second hand digital reproduction.
I digress but refuse to return to wrapping up this point. It will become real to us both in the near future I suspect. As of now I am unsure of what exactly I am getting at.
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