This is a rant about the importance of curriculum and content in eLearning, because lately a few people have been thinking that I am that I am just a techno-geek and I just play with code and gadgets all day and don’t care about the underpinning theories and frameworks etc. Sure, I use technology a lot for my work but I would like to make it clear that it is important to note that technology is not content, and technology is not process; rather, it can be used to provide access to both. I strongly believe that understanding end-user behaviors is an important step toward effective eLearning. The consequences of making materials or learning opportunities available through eLearning should be carefully considered.
As an example, some training companies I have worked for in the past, do not provide any printed materials, preferring instead to make all things available online. For many students who do not like to read from a screen or cannot take their computers away on holiday with them for the weekend requires them to print the materials out. I do not see the point in this. Sure, eLearning tools can certainly be used to encourage students to rather explore topics on their own and take ownership of their learning. And yes, it is often cool to have things like bulletin board participation in order to encourage the sharing of ideas online but honestly, the curriculum still needs to be the point of reference. If participation in the bulletin board is not relevant to the curriculum, then its use as an assessment tool should be questioned. Also, does it map to the criteria they need to be assessed or is it just an excuse to ‘flesh out’ the curriculum.
So anyway, I am not just a technologist that loves to code and work on computers, I am just as passionate of the students, the curriculum, content and teaching. Some days I wished I should have done a teaching degree, maybe when I win some more money and can afford it.