Jour 68 — Electronic Publishing Workshop
Roger Karraker’s online class, Spring 2004 for Santa Rosa Junior College
In traditional classroom instruction it’s assumed that the instructor is the fount of all knowledge. The instructor stands at the front of the room and declaims. Everyone else listens. Only one person can speak at a time. It’s both linear (one after another) and slow. And, of course, everyone has to be gathered in the same room at the same time and the time is strictly limited: typically a 100-minute block of time. People speak at about 175 words per minute. So the total available exchange is 17,500 words.
To enjoy this 100-minute experience you must get up, get dressed, get in the car, find a place to park, etc. Undoubtedly the time spent getting to class is equal or longer to the time you spend in class. So that 17,500 words of maximum possible instruction/interchange requires three hours of your life.
In online computer conferencing we take advantage of the fact that the instruction/interchange takes place when you want it, not when the instructor wants to offer the class. Instead of it being a linear experience, it’s more “parallel”. Unlike in the classroom, many of you can “talk” at once. Yet no one is interrupted, or shouted down.
Blogs, RSS, and much, much more.