Lately, I’ve been contemplating the words that are generally used within higher education to describe learning environments.  I wonder how differently online learning would be valued if we replaced the terms distance learning and face-to-face learning with online learning and offline learning.

What do you think?

5 Comments to “Language is Power”

  1. Hi Maryanne, thanks for stopping by! Michael, honestly, I think we need to get away from the need to label learning methods all together. If it's effective learning, that's all that matters. But I am really sensing the terms "distance learning" and "face to face learning" perpetuate a hierarchy that, to me, is problematic. What do YOU think? Good to hear from you.

  2. Lots of people assume that "in-person" learning is automatically excellent, engaged, careful instruction with motivated students, and I think "face-to-face learning" perpetuates the belief. Surely none of us ever slept through a class, or skipped one, or had a professor who spent the whole class writing on a blackboard.

    Maybe "face-to-face learning" should be broadened into "face-to-back learning", or "face-to-whoever-shows-up-that-day learning"? Just kidding.

    I agree with you that effective learning can be done in any medium. I keep trying to think of new terminology that fits with the true importance of distance learning. But it all feels made-up. Like "mind-to-mind" instead of "face-to-face", or "equal opportunity learning", or something. It's a good discussion to have.


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