Posts Tagged ‘Online learning’

Learning Online

20 April 2011

By Christina Morin

Last Wednesday, there was an interesting piece in the Irish Times called ‘The University of YouTube’ by Edel Morgan. The idea behind the article was to ascertain whether ‘teaching yourself on the web [is] as effective as interacting in a classroom’. As part of the experiment, three individuals undertook three separate challenges designed to test the quality of online tutoring. Morgan’s husband, for instance, used an uploaded lesson by hairdresser-to-the-stars, Richard Ashforth, to learn how to reproduce that ever-so-difficult-to-achieve just-out-of-the-salon look. The result of his newly acquired blow-drying skills was, as Morgan herself admitted, pretty good. The two other challenges involved learning sign language and a sequence dance, with varying rates of success. Both of those challenges, in fact, concluded with mixed feelings towards online learning, suggesting that it could flesh out but not wholly replace classroom learning… which got me thinking about iTunes U, an enterprise that attempts to merge classroom and virtual learning by allowing individuals to access, among other things, lectures recorded by experts in their fields from a broad range of universities. Juliana has written about iTunes U before, emphasising its potential helpfulness in lecture preparation, but I had never explored it until Morgan’s Irish Times piece prompted me to wander through its virtual halls. Read more

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