FEEDBACK: It is apparent that in our rol…

FEEDBACK: It is apparent that in our roles as EVA, unless you have a familiarity with the specific sector it is hard to make an informed assessment. Hence to create these pitches (myself included) we have to assume the investor knows nothing about the area we are pitching. I have struggled to understand the classroom experience of the primary or middle grades teacher. Like Maureen, I seem to share inside knowledge of the higher education market. Generally and commonly, faculty who teach at Universities in both undergraduate, graduate and professional programs are content experts; however they rarely have graduate training in education and less so in teaching online. Unlike instructors in K – 12, where teachers are trained in Education, faculty in higher education are usually researchers who are expected to teach, and more so lately, to teach online. Often, but certainly not always, universities will have Teaching and Technology Innovative Centers; but not all faculty are required to use their services. The availability of educational software, off the shelf, will not “make” a confident, skilled, effective online instructor. My many years working in graduate programs at universities have shown me that many faculty teach they way they were taught decades ago without regard to current research in the literature that shows advances in the knowledge on how students learn best, specifically adult learners (who are in university as opposed to 9th grade). An experienced highly funded researcher will not take time out to enroll in the MET program to learn how to better teach (possibly online) in their area of specialization. Constructivist, experiential, active and engaged learning is not the norm; it continues to be the lecture-based format, with research papers and multiple-choices exams as assessment. As you quote, “…learning how to teach online has become an obligation among educators as students are being sent into a world filled with technology.” In the US, generally you need a doctorate to teach in a research institution, so I see the MET as allowing me to “teach the teachers.” Another of your quotes sums it up nicely, Tony Bates argues that “Moving to blended, hybrid and online learning requires a much higher standard of training for faculty and instructors.” (2015, p.420). However, Bates (2015) also describes the current model of professional development for Canadian faculty as “broken” (p.418). This is a different sort of Technology Venture – not one that “makes a profit” but one that benefits all students (a public good). All the best in continuing your good work at Ryerson and beyond! (Sorry for the length of this posting, but I have a certain passion in this area!)

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