Teaching Notes

Wabash Article: Online Classrooms as Porous Spaces

Article written by Katherine Turpin, Iliff School of Theology

Here is an except:

When we first move into online classroom spaces, we often miss the dynamic energy of gathered bodies in a familiar location. We lose the immediate gratification of watching in real time as new knowledge “clicks” for students in discussions and class activities. Online classrooms may initially feel sterile, artificial, and indistinguishable from one another in our learning management system.

With time and experience in teaching in online classrooms, we may begin to reconsider how a traditional residential classroom is also an artificial space…There is nothing “natural” about a classroom with 12-200 students in it all trying to learn the same things at the same time, regardless of their existing experience or knowledge. What feels “traditional” about this education is actually a factory model of education largely adopted during the industrial revolution for the sake of increasing access to and efficiency of education for the masses.

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