IL = Information Literacy and 21st Century Skills
Nix, E., Etheridge, B., & Walsh, P. (2014). A Traditional Educational Practice Adapted for the Digital Age. Honors In Practice,10 37-43.
The article describes an alternative MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and explains why this method transcends the trending pre-recorded digital course MOOC format. MOOCs reach large numbers of learners, and this alternative MOOC developed at the University of Baltimore strives to contribute to “three conversations concerning educational innovation: (1) How can we define and deliver online education to large numbers of students in ways that support excellence? (2) How can digital advances add to an academic institution’s civic engagement? (3) How can honors shape the expectations for massive online experiences?” How does the alternative MOOC combine broad distribution with the ever important in-class discussion? Live broadcasts of weekly seminars allow viewing auditors the ability to watch live, comment live, and continue the conversation. Also, the participating seminar students were asked to read different materials, allowing for variation and setting the class up to be “highly interactive.”
The experience described in this article was admittedly small scale and experimental, but the pilot project was inexpensive and ultimately reached an audience larger than intended. More importantly the project allowed participating honor students and the honors program itself the opportunity to use innovative practices. As the article describes, educators often praise innovative practices meanwhile safely falling back on tried and practical pedagogy. True advancement happens however, when traditional standards are maintained while exercising innovative learning practices.