Online distance learning as the privileged mode: Excellence in digital education


Monday, June 1, 2015 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Barnum Center

Please RSVP

VPTL welcomes Dr. Jen Ross from the University of Edinburgh to Stanford.

The University of Edinburgh has invested heavily in online distance education for more than a decade and a number of innovations have emerged from its policy and practice in this domain. One innovation centers around the teaching and research of the Digital Education group in the School of Education, whose MSc in Digital Education (formerly MSc E-learning) and MOOC developmentsalongside their research activities in the field—have continually pushed against the assumptions informing online distance learning. One significant assumption the group has worked to undermine is that online learning is a "second best" alternative to face-to-face learning. Instead, the group asserts that distance can be the privileged mode—one that supports richness of community and contact, reaches professional audiences in new ways, and promotes values of creativity, criticality and playfulness. In this seminar, Dr. Jen Ross will share her experiences as program director of the MSc, of designing and teaching the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC, and of working with academics, policymakers, and organizations to generate a new, richer understanding of the possibilities of excellent digital education.

Jen Ross is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is the program director of the MSc in Digital Education, Deputy Director (KE) of the Research and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Education, and part of the Digital Cultures and Education (DICE) research group. Jen is one of the team members behind the Manifesto for Teaching Online, and the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC, and is a Beltane Parliament Engagement Fellow. Jen's research interests include distance learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), digital futures, reflective practices, and cultural and educational institutions online. She supervises masters and PhD students in these and related areas.


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