Is the classroom obsolete?

Posted: August 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

By Ángel Cabrera and Callie Le Renard, via The Huffington Post:

Traditional colleges insist in treating all students as if they’re the same. They’re not.Demographics have changed dramatically and the learning experience that working adults need is different from that of our ‘traditional’ 18-22 year old full-time residential student. Higher education needs to be able to accommodate all these learners, and the traditional model just won’t do that. In the 21st Century, we have seen and will continue to see rapid change in how we advance knowledge, how we leverage technology and how we deliver more education, more options and more quality, with less.

As universities evolve, classrooms will not disappear, but what happens in them will change dramatically. In spite of advances in distance education, learners will continue to demand physical spaces where they can interact with other learners and with faculty, where they can put their new skills into action, where they can limit distractions, and contextualize their learning socially. What they will not demand is spaces where they are simply lectured to. This trend, unfortunately labeled flipping the classroom, will have also a profound impact in the role of the instructor, which will inevitably morph from source of content to learning facilitator and outcomes assessor.

(Read the rest of this article here)

Write to Ángel Cabrera at president@gmu.edu

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