I ran into a colleague today and since he tends to read my blog I asked if he had seen my University 2.0 posting. He said yes, he’d read it but hadn’t had a chance to think about it much yet. I asked if he had any immediate reaction. He replied that he was sympathetic with what I was arguing for, but that he couldn’t see how he could change his courses to fit the model I was proposing. He pointed out that he had too much content to get across.
I don’t know what my colleague’s teaching is like though I have heard good things about it, and I respect his views. I also don’t know how he structures his courses, so it may be that he’s already teaching in the U2.0 mold. I do know that he hasn’t had a chance to really think through my proposal. So, I mean no disrespect here.
But what popped into my mind was that his response was the same as most academics I’ve talked to about similar topics in recent years. I found myself wondering if maybe he’s not asking the right questions of his teaching. To paraphase a colleague of some decades ago, it’s not what you do in the class (as an instructor) that matters, it’s what students get out of it.