A Cyber-University

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tbieter
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A Cyber-University

Post by tbieter »

"I envisage an experiment in "distance learning," in which students work from home, and attend lectures, receive tutorials, and engage in discussions through Internet connections. As the Internet becomes more interactive, the need for universities to establish themselves in physical space, rather than in cyberspace, is less evident. Virtual communities of scholarship might be more volatile than real communities of scholars. But they will be far more responsive to the demands of their customers, and far cheaper to run. They could provide most of what is provided by a humanities department, with the added advantage of choosing their professors from all over the world, and paying a proper market price for them. First-rate scholars could participate in such a project, knowing that they do not have to share their earnings with the second-rate colleagues who form the solid mass of humanities departments in physical space. And although rehearsals might be difficult, the cyber-university orchestra, when it finally comes together in the two weeks of summer devoted to real meetings in real space, would enjoy a range of talent as great as the National Youth Orchestra."
http://spectator.org/archives/2010/09/1 ... university

I had a friend, a practicing psychologist with a wife and kids, who got an advanced degree in a similar fashion. He attended interactive classes and communicated with his advisor over the Internet. Periodically, an instructor would travel to the Twin Cities. He would meet with a group of students in a hotel over a long weekend. My friend could financially afford this schooling, but not attendance on site at a traditional university.
Richard Baron
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by Richard Baron »

I like the idea, and as you say Tom, it is already happening. I don't think it is quite as good as a traditional university where you can meet and argue over coffee (and still have access to colleagues around the world through discussion fora). But the cost is so much lower that cyber-universities can be open to a great many more people.

It would be interesting to see how research would work in a world that only had cyber-universities. I suspect that it would not work quite as well as in a world with traditional universities, and that would affect the teaching: it is a good thing to be taught by people who are active in research. But again, that is no reason not to encourage cyber-universities alongside traditional universities. If you keep the traditional universities and simply add to the amount of learning going on, that strikes me as likely to represent pure gain (not certain to represent pure gain, because there may not be enough competent academics to go round).

In the UK we have had the Open University for 40 years. It uses broadcast lectures, online discussions and tutors who advise students and mark essays. In the early days (before VCRs), dedicated students would get up at 5 in the morning to watch lectures. Now programmes are distributed on DVD.
duszek
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by duszek »

A voice carries lots of information too, we should not forget.
So the lectures could be offered for download on an MP 3 player and those interested could listen to them while moving in nature and doing something for their physical well-being at the same time. And those who are slow on the uptake could listen several times.
This would be so much better than sitting in a lecture room with artificial light, hard benches, fresh air in short supply etc. etc.
duszek
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by duszek »

And this would also be my suggestion for a future discussion forum: that the poster reads his or her post and the reading can be downloaded on MP 3 and listened to in a comfortable position instead of reading it by staring at the screen.
And the voice carries a lot of additional information too, especially if controversial topics are being discussed.
I hope that technology will make this possible one day.
Some elderly people use some sort of magnifying glass in order to read the screen. Listening to a computer voice is not so pleasant but if the poster reads his contribution himself this would be a big added value.
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John
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by John »

Richard Baron wrote: In the UK we have had the Open University for 40 years. It uses broadcast lectures, online discussions and tutors who advise students and mark essays. In the early days (before VCRs), dedicated students would get up at 5 in the morning to watch lectures. Now programmes are distributed on DVD.
I'm actually studying for a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics with the Open University at the moment (two politics modules to go). My experience of the teaching materials so far is that they are excellent but I do miss the interaction with other students that I got when I went to university the first time (back in the 80s). Tutorials are usually the only eay to meet other students, especially since to OU seems to be abandoning the idea of summer schools. That said, if your like me and have children and a mortgage to pay it's a fantastic way to study.
duszek
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by duszek »

Nice Teddy ! :D

But you could have some interaction with other cyber-students using skype (internet telephone).

I do not have skype, or MP 3 or internet at home, but I know how they work from hear-say.
chaz wyman
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by chaz wyman »

tbieter wrote:"I envisage an experiment in "distance learning," in which students work from home, and attend lectures, receive tutorials, and engage in discussions through Internet connections. As the Internet becomes more interactive, the need for universities to establish themselves in physical space, rather than in cyberspace, is less evident. Virtual communities of scholarship might be more volatile than real communities of scholars. But they will be far more responsive to the demands of their customers, and far cheaper to run. They could provide most of what is provided by a humanities department, with the added advantage of choosing their professors from all over the world, and paying a proper market price for them. First-rate scholars could participate in such a project, knowing that they do not have to share their earnings with the second-rate colleagues who form the solid mass of humanities departments in physical space. And although rehearsals might be difficult, the cyber-university orchestra, when it finally comes together in the two weeks of summer devoted to real meetings in real space, would enjoy a range of talent as great as the National Youth Orchestra."
http://spectator.org/archives/2010/09/1 ... university

I had a friend, a practicing psychologist with a wife and kids, who got an advanced degree in a similar fashion. He attended interactive classes and communicated with his advisor over the Internet. Periodically, an instructor would travel to the Twin Cities. He would meet with a group of students in a hotel over a long weekend. My friend could financially afford this schooling, but not attendance on site at a traditional university.
There is a great book by Isaac Asimov called "The Naked Sun" which talks of a planet where all the people live separate lives and only communicate via 3D link-ups. This leads them to live in fear of real human contact as they view it as dangerous in terms of disease and the threat of violence: they despise physical contact and are 'birthed' by machine with population limited to 20k. Their only physical contact is with their human replicant robots with whom they share their lives on vast estates.
Are we looking a the future?
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John
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by John »

duszek wrote:Nice Teddy ! :D
Thanks :D Can you tell what he's reading?
duszek wrote: But you could have some interaction with other cyber-students using skype (internet telephone).

I do not have skype, or MP 3 or internet at home, but I know how they work from hear-say.
You're right and there are some things in place to facilitate that sort of thing. One problem I've experienced though, and thus tend to avoid such things, is because it can sometimes be pretty difficult to decide whether someone opinion is worth anything. At a traditional university you tend to get to know which of your fellow students are on top of the material and which aren't and hence can decide whose opinion is most likely to be worth listening to. When you study remotely you (well me anyway) often don't know whether someone posting an opinion online actually knows what they're talking about.

I've had a few panics just as I was about to finish an assignment because I decided to check a study support forum only to find it full of people who had interpreted the course material differently to me. I got good marks so decided checking study support forums was sometimes likely to give more grief and self doubt than help.

I really believe being able to discuss things over a beer or a coffee with people you know is a huge bonus.
duszek
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by duszek »

I cannot tell what the bear is reading, but it must be fascinating, judging by the expression of his face. :D
Some Penguin´s Classic perhaps ?

A difficulty can be considered a challenge.
If you talk to someone over a beer or coffee you can tell by the voice and other signals whether you are dealing with an imposter or someone who is trustworthy.

On a forum like this one you can judge too, by sytax and many other clues, whether an opinion is trustworthy or not.

It has become one of my private areas of study: to see how personality of a speaker or writer expresses itself via logos or language.

Good night.
Richard Baron
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by Richard Baron »

John wrote:
duszek wrote:Nice Teddy ! :D
Thanks :D Can you tell what he's reading?
I am not at all sure that The Communist Manifesto is suitable reading matter for bears. Bären aller Länder vereinigt euch!
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Arising_uk
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by Arising_uk »

If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears join the Party!

...

:)
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John
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by John »

Richard Baron wrote:
John wrote:
duszek wrote:Nice Teddy ! :D
Thanks :D Can you tell what he's reading?
I am not at all sure that The Communist Manifesto is suitable reading matter for bears. Bären aller Länder vereinigt euch!
Well spotted :lol:
duszek
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by duszek »

Now that I know what he is reading I think that he looks frightened or at least deeply worried and unrelaxed.
Like I felt when reading a book by Martha Stout about sociopaths.

Will he read Orwell´s "Animal Farm" too ?
It is important to have a balanced view.
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John
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by John »

duszek wrote:Now that I know what he is reading I think that he looks frightened or at least deeply worried and unrelaxed.
Like I felt when reading a book by Martha Stout about sociopaths.

Will he read Orwell´s "Animal Farm" too ?
It is important to have a balanced view.
I'm actually not sure where he is. He may be a victim of the Great Soft Toy Purge :shock:

If I find him I'll ensure he has more reading material available though :lol:
duszek
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Re: A Cyber-University

Post by duszek »

Arising

If you go out in the woods today,
looking like Clint Eastwood because someone made you angry,
you come back home with a beaming smile on your face
and a bonanza of chestnuts.
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