The Case for the Self-Paced Online Course
Michigan State University
Date and time:
Feb 01, 2012 11:00 AM
At a time when the conventions of online teaching and learning favor student interaction in a variety of synchronous and asynchronous design features, what could sound more out-of-step than the self-paced course organized around autonomy and the isolated student? But claims for the value of online "learning communities" can be overstated, and the preferences of adult students overlooked. The self-paced course in which students work on their own to complete a sequence of activities (like reading texts, viewing and listening to digital media, exploring websites, and completing writing assignments) may actually satisfy the needs of adult learners as much (or more) than online courses reflecting one version or another of social constructivism in design. This presentation explores historical, theoretical, and practical dimensions of the self-paced course and concludes with evidence for success in using the format in a fully online MA program.