- It’s easier (and faster) to put together content then it is to put together meaningful student-to-student collaboration experiences. Content is easily sourced with the maturation of the Internet and professors do not have unlimited amounts of time to devote to course development activities.
- Most professors have more experience putting together content than designing meaningful student-to-student collaboration experiences. Professors are content experts and many lack the specialized training in educational design.
- Some members of academic departments still believe that content is king! The perception exists that allocating some student energy towards collaboration only decreases the amount of time they have to spend learning the content and that this is a non-desirable effect. Some of these same people believe that teaching and learning is exclusively about lectures and textbooks. Some of those same professors build assessment schemes that test only a student's ability to regurgitate content. In the end what does the degree mean? That the student is good at memorizing? Does the workplace need the majority of staff to be good at memorizing?
- There is some student push-back to collaboration and interaction especially at a distance. Many provide the all too familiar complaints such as “it’s too hard”, “I hate group work”, etc. Well – being a productive person in the workplace REQUIRES interaction and group work with other staff (some of which are not geographically co-located). So despite being perceived as “difficult or hard”, collaboration is a required skill to master early in all disciplines.
Reading articles, like Trent’s, help situate and realign myself better in the big picture of education. Have a look his article and let us know if any points ring true to you. Leave a comment below