What is the danger of formal learning compared with informal learning?

Designing instructional activities online is not what it once was – new tools have enabled multisensory and dynamic learning experiences to occur if effective strategies and resources are aligned well.  It is also important to note learning is not always done in isolation, or at least it should not be.

Learning is a social construct that requires collaboration and connections to both the real world and people interacting in that world. For example, Ubell, in his article Dewey Goes Online suggests that progressives, such as Dewey and others, believed in the power of experiential learning – learning by doing – coupled with problem solving and critical thinking supported by tools for communication and collaborative teamwork.

New course delivery models will be smart to develop collaborative opportunities for students to learn that require problem solving and critical thinking. Read the article Dewey Goes Online and answer the critical thinking questions below. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Select three of the questions below to answer (you must answer question #5).

  1. What is the danger of formal learning compared with informal learning? Is there a time for both? Explain.
  2. What new tools have emerged, as Anu Sivunen points out, that make communication online so successful?
  3. What is the most common form of online communication today? Why does Ubell state it may not be the most effective for collaboration? Do you agree?
  4. Creating opportunities for students to collaborate, even with the most sophisticated tools, does not mean they will yield desirable results. What does Ubell say needs to happen for powerful learning to take place when students engage in teams, group work, and collaborative exchanges?
  5. Based on your experiences at Ashford, how would you improve the ways students collaborate?

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