Closing the ‘distance’ in online learning | Meet first dean candidate
Radhika Gajjala skypes with Anca Birzescu, the graduate student volunteer working with the FemTechNet DOCC project.
Gajjala and partners make distance learning more collaborative
Members of society have barely had enough time to wrap their heads around the idea of a MOOC — a massive open online course — and scholars are already coming out with alternatives.
Dr. Radhika Gajjala, School of Media and Communication, has been working with FemTechNet, a network of feminist scholars, to create a participatory model for online teaching, also known as a distributed open collaborative course or DOCC, that is a bit different from the MOOC.
Although the MOOC is offered online and is available to a very large number of people, Gajjala said it is only partly free and offers a limiting style of learning.
A DOCC, on the other hand, takes the basic idea of a MOOC and modifies it a bit.
Rather than having expert faculty strictly deliver information to the students, a DOCC distributes expertise throughout the network, whether it is from teacher to student, student to teacher, or student to student. The focus is community formation and learning through engagement with knowledge and not just transmission of information.
As opposed to MOOCs, the three key aspects of the DOCC are collaboration, access and human interaction.
Gajjala has been working with FemTechNet and the project for nearly two years, but has experience teaching fully online courses and blended courses using latest online technologies for over 15 years.
Two finalists for Health and Human Services dean give forums this week
The first of three finalists for dean of the College of Health and Human Services will present an open forum this afternoon.
Dr. Jeffrey Breese, interim vice president for academic affairs at Rockhurst University, will address attendees and take questions from 3-4:15 p.m. in 113
Those unable to attend may watch the presentation online.
On Wednesday (Oct. 16), the second candidate, Dr. Marie Huff, an associate professor in the Department of Social Work at Western Carolina University, will
present her forum from 3-4:15 p.m. in 113 Olscamp Hall.