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The New "Space" of the University in the Digital Age

The New "Space" of the University in the Digital Age
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Author(s): Carl A. Raschke (University of Denver, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch213


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While critics of the new computer-mediated learning styles utter jeremiads about the impending apocalypse of higher education in general, technophiles argue that the changes are all salutary. In fact, some see no difference between faculty cultures and online and traditional schools (Johnstone, 2001). In the same vein, the proliferation of digital classrooms across the instructional spectrum and online learning have touched off a firestorm of controversy concerning the “effectiveness” of new computer-mediated pedagogies versus traditional face-to-face, or “presential,” instruction. Various studies have been conducted and the findings circulated (Smith, Smith, & Boone, 2000). Each research project purports to demonstrate the degree to which educational outcomes are enhanced or diminished by distance learning formats, such as the replacement of lectures by interactive Web chats or discussion forums, the use of e-mail for office hours, and so forth. As with performance assessment models in general, so many of these research initiatives cancel each other out. At the same time, they conceal the investigator’s own biases or wishes without examining assumptions. They also betray notoriously imprecise general concepts of what the studies themselves are actually measuring.

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