Introduction to Chapters: Creativity and Critique in Online Teaching and Learning: Innovations in Online Pedagogy
This chapter introduces the contents of the book Creativity and Critique in Online Learning and describes what each case study contributes to knowledge in the field. It explains what we mean by the terms creativity and critique and in so doing highlights the challenging context in which online teaching and learning is taking place. Can online study really replicate the challenges and occasional joy of learning in a face to face environment? Can it foster relationships in the same way? Not only learner to learner but also between teacher and learner. Can it achieve the type of transformational learning that traditionally took place at residential schools and face to face tutorials? The type of learning that transforms the lives of individuals, radically altering their worldview, critical acuity, and social mobility? Some would argue that these are the wrong questions—that we should instead be asking: what can online learning do that face to face learning can’t; how can it help teach the ‘hard to reach’ and how can it provide learning for those who have failed in (or rejected) learning in a face to face context. This book uses case studies to engage with these questions and issues. We examine the benefits of various methods of teaching and learning online, whilst also analysing how effective these methods have proven to be in practice. In so doing the book aims to both inform and challenge those who are already teaching online or thinking of doing so in the near future. It looks to help those who are designing programmes of learning, in offering a comprehensive view of some of the tools that can be used to enhance the student experience, whilst also exposing areas of weakness that may well have the capacity to alienate learners and teachers if not incorporated carefully into the planned curriculum. Finally it explores the ways in which online teaching and learning can be creative for both teacher and learner, whilst acknowledging that no teaching method is perfect.
KeywordsOnline teaching Online learning Higher education eLearning Technology enhanced learning Distance learning Neoliberalism
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