Harrison, D. (2010) Lecture capture helps Riverside meet nursing demand Campus Technology, March 10
From the article:
What do you do when 500 applicants are competing for 60 seats in your two-year nursing program? That’s just what happened at Southern California’s Riverside Community College. Administrators there didn’t just want to turn those students away. Instead, they scrambled their technology leaders and launched a distance learning program–one that’s built around lecture capture–to meet the demand.
When I read this article and what they are doing, I shuddered. I come from a background where distance education courses are specifically re-designed for distance learners. In particular, they are designed to allow students to interact with instructor and other students any time and anywhere. They are designed to ensure that distance learners have adequate support and help from their instructors. This takes longer and means thinking differently about how the course is designed and delivered – not taking the standard classroom model and multiplying it to extra students.
Now I’m not against introducing new methods of design to accommodate or exploit new technology, but it must meet certain criteria. Does it at least maintain and if possible increase the interaction between student and instructor and between students? Do all students have equal access to service within the course? Does it provide the flexibility and access that distance learners require? Do students learn better?
I would suggest that the strategy proposed by Riverside fails on all these counts. In fact if you read the article carefully, it doesn’t accommodate 500 students by any means – it adds a relatively few students to the existing face-to-face class.
The issue for me is that we have over 50 years experience of what works and what doesn’t work in distance education, hundreds of books and thousands of research articles about effective practice in distance education, standards for best practice and quality assurance standards, yet all this continues to be ignored by many colleges and universities in the United States. Everything has to be invented from scratch as if nobody had ever done anything similar before, just because the technology is new – yet it is not really invention; it’s just the tired old classroom model with technology added.
Is it any wonder that their education system is in crisis?