Friday, April 25, 2003

I was in looking at what Jay Cross was up to and see that internetime has become meta-time. Jay's moved from links -- 'net time was a "jump page" -- to a blog format.

Neat to see the evolution of on-line learning. To wit, Jay's entry today about the work of Wil Thalheimer.

Jay cited an improvement of 112% with e-learning, which sent me looking for an explanation. Here's what Thalheimer had to say:

E-learning is unique in its ability to easily utilize the four learning effects just described (spacing, delayed feedback, relearning, and reducing the retention interval). Totaling the percentage-improvement estimates (based on reasoned extrapolations from the research), e-learning can be expected to improve learning results by 112% or so. This number was conservatively estimated by adding the individual maximum estimates (40, 25, 110, 50) to get 225, and dividing that number in half to be conservative. Given e-learning’s unique capabilities, we can expect a well-designed e-learning program to outperform other types of learning programs by over 100%, a two-fold increase in learning.

Even if he's only half right, that's a big improvement. For me the accessibility that e-learning provides for learners is the key. The ability to post to forums like Jay's and participate in synchronous chat and webcasts means that anyone with a connection to the 'net can be part of a knowledge-building community.

Open-source intitiatives like those at OKI and eduCommons and CANCORE further broaden the scope of access of on-line education for all stakeholders.

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