Richness and Reach
The electronic era provides opportunities in education for richness (that is, the overall quality of information) and reach (the overall number of people involved in the exchange of information). This is in contrast to richness of reach. Gone is the need for learning exclusively within the classroom that is based on simulated exercises and contrived case studies. Through electronic and other means, the thrust of further and higher education can be on real-life projects in the real world.
This ‘bricks and clicks’ approach enables learners to make meaningful contributions to work – and life in general – while earning academic credit. This is happening, for example, through special projects, internships, and e-portfolio development. New learning communities, with associated opportunities and challenges, are proliferating. How the members of such communities can participate willingly and enthusiastically is an important consideration. There is a consequential need to develop models of education that offer both electronic communication and face-to-face interchange.
Contributed by Dave Hornblow, December 2016