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Breaking the Mold and Fostering Innovation

Learning Online

I was fortunate enough to catch the opening key note speaker, Dr. Jeff Borden. His passion for innovation in education is obvious. He had many talking points and I intend to share my takes on a few of them. First, there is a myth that we can teach a specific way because it reaches the “average” student. Unfortunately, the research shows there is no true “average” student. Each learner is unique and we must accept and embrace the diverse learners in our virtual classrooms in order to help them reach their individual goals.

Next, Dr. Borden discussed the history of the educational model in America. He noted that many of the rigid structures implemented in public education were established during the industrial revolution to train a successful factory worker or employee. The methods sought to create a robot on the assembly line that would complete a task. The educational model was not designed to foster creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, or personal expression. Modern education must embrace those elements.

The final talking point that stuck with me was “Technology for the sake of technology is a fool’s errand. We must not lose the human connection.” For some, the concept of online learning is cutting edge. However, it has been with us for decades. We must recognize that the same rigid structure of traditional education has creeped into online learning. The mold must be broken and innovation fostered.

Jeff Meyerholz

Associate Director, Academic Integrity

Ashford University

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