Aug 012012

Education Reform: The Case For Online Education

Education Reform: Eric Savitz, Forbes Staff

Education Reform: Guest post written by Brett Shockley

Education Reform: Brett Shockley is Senior Vice President of Emerging Technologies at Avaya.

Brett Shockley

In recent months, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Cal Tech, Penn, Edinburgh and dozens of other elite universities have jumped into the market for online education, signing up anyone, anywhere who wants to sign up for free Web-based courses. Some are developing their own distance learning technology, while others are partnering with such companies as Coursera and Udacity.

The business strategy behind this digital gold rush was captured by a California State University official: “We don’t want to be Blockbuster when Netflix is coming in.” As high-end creators and distributors of knowledge, universities fear the Internet will disrupt their business models, much as newspapers, record companies and movie and TV studios have been disrupted.

This tectonic shift in higher education is being met by vigorous protests – many, ironically, by university faculty members who may eventually benefit in multiple ways from distance learning.

education reform

Tom McDonald’s Comments:

education reform


Thank you for your article.

Education is missing it’s mission: individual, long term, learning of critical information.

Where long term, individual learning, of critical information = Appropriate: initial understanding, ongoing reinforcement, fluency/mastery, recall (eliminating forgetting), application, stick/behavior change, in the most effective and most efficient way possible.

Education traditionally delivers critical information, in a one to many fashion, in two ways, which the learning research validates is poor for individual learning.

(1) Lecture

(2) eLearning

Educators, traditionally, are subject matter experts, not learning experts.

Mark’s comment reflects this point: “Online education is a one-size-fits-all endeavor.”

The correct statement is: traditional lecture delivery, in education and traditional online delivery, in education, is a one size fits all endeavor.

We know this, we know it’s not effective nor efficient for individual learning, but somehow we assume if it comes from an educator, it’s absolute, and is the only available option. This is not the case. There are research proven, market proven better options for individual learning.

Mark goes onto say; “A truly memorable college class, even a large one, is a collaboration between teacher and students” So far so good.

“It’s a one-time-only event”. True, but this is another reason why traditional one to many classroom teaching is individually ineffective and inefficient for student participants.

There are research proven, classroom proven ways to change a one time only event into an individualized, ongoing learning environment that individually advances learning and individual learning outcomes.

We must become learning experts, from the learning experts, by understanding how individuals learn best, by following, understanding and implementing, brain based, research proven, classroom proven, learning best practices.

Unfortunately, Marks article is not a solid reflection of what it really takes to revolutionize/transform education from a teaching environment to a learning environment.

There are copious examples of educational organizations unsuccessfully jumping into online learning, before they understand how individuals learn most effectively and efficiently.

This is a situation where the ‘learning lemmings’ following each other off of the cliff is doing nothing to advance individual learning. They put the cart in front of the horse, try to jam a square peg in a round hole and blindly follow others down a path that doesn’t work, won’t work and will consume limited resources with no measurable advanced learning outcomes. This has to change. We are smarter than this.

elearning is not the learning solution. More correctly stated, one to many learning is not the individual learning solution, in any learning environment (F2F, lecture, webinar, elearning, video,

The brain based, research proven, market proven , new learning model is: ” instructor facilitated, truly personalized learning, over time, with instructor facilitated, truly personalized reinforcement, over time, in an instructor facilitated, truly personalized, blended learning environment, over time”…research the learning research.

It just happens that this new learning model is most effectively and most efficiently individually delivered over web based, truly personalized, learning technology.

Kudos to those educational organizations that are revolutionizing individual learning by integrating brain based, research proven, classroom proven, learning methodologies into their classrooms, as well as into their web based delivery platforms.

Truly personalized, web based, instructor facilitated, learning technology has been available since 2000 and has advanced individual learning outcomes for 1,000’s of students. It is currently available, it seamlessly integrates brain based, research proven, classroom proven individual/accelerated learning methodologies and it measurably delivers advanced, individual  learning outcomes.

We need to follow the classroom proven learning research, from the learning experts and quit implementing unproven ‘learning’ technology, that in classroom trials, does nothing to advance individual learning outcomes.

To learn more of what is proven to work in learning from the learning experts please access 900+ unique and varied articles at:

Search 925+ Unique Posts on Learning,  Personalized Learning, Learning How to Learn, Learning Research, Learning Transfer, Blended Learning, eLearning,  Personalized Learning Technology, Sales Performance



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education reform, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC