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Online vs. Face to face Learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 5 May 2014, 06:44

I'll add notes here as the differences between the online and 'traditional' learning experience dawn on me as I do the two in parallel. Actually there's a third comparison I can make - that of L&D which the other week included something neither of the above formats offer - 'learning over a good lunch!'

Time Managment

The 'traditional' seminar or lecture forces your hand somewhat - you have to be there. Many these days are recorded, though mine will not be. I'm inclined therefore to take either a digital or audio recorder along to record these things. I have, just a couple of times over three years, got behind with the online course as I kept putting it off.

Travel ... and the associated cost

It'll be around four hours door to door once a month. This means getting up at 4.30 am. Not of course something someone in full time tertiary education needs to do. Off peak, unless booked well in advance it'll cost £74 return ... £24 if I stick to exact trains. The last train home was heaving. I could and did 'work' the entire journey whereas home is a constant distraction.

Eating on campus

Lunch I may have to take with me as the campus only had premade Spar sandwhiches at every outlet. A jacket potato or pasta would have been better.

Nodding off

After lunch I did something I last did in double Geography on a Friday afternoon. I sat at the back, cupped my hands over my eyes as if in deep thought ... and fell asleep.

When to put in the hours

Something, however common to many people on any part-time distance learning course is 'the early morning shift' - putting in 90 minutes or so before breakfast. 

Library Services

While this and other support services are offered to us on our VLE it was invaluable to to have a person run through it as a presentation in person. This kind of stuff should be given a linear expression ... a mini-module for newcomers and as a refresher. All I've done, two years after the event, was a webinar. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Design Museum

B877 Techniques Library

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 31 Dec 2011, 18:02

The alternatives:

I've suggested lunch, my next is the long walk.

150 problem solving techniques yet the meal and the walk are not included, yet there are still two of the very best ways to get to know someone, to hold their attention or to give them a chance to speak.

Steve Jobs did the walk, my father did the meal deal, weekend and the walk all rolled into one getting people out if London to the Lakes for the weekend.

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Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Eating Out (the business lunch)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 07:39

IMG_0701.JPG

Or is each one an apple?

The 'Techniques Library' is a collection of some 150 activities or games that elicit from a person, or group (as small or as large as you like) answers to business problems, or at least ideas (potentially innovative or off-the-wall). Forty or so of these hold some appeal so I am picking my way through them; missing is the the meal, two or more people gathered for what I might describe as a 'continental' dining experience i.e. where you indulge for a couple of hours, mixing socialising with work, finding the middle ground.

Two observations:

1) As soon as you do one of the 'techniques' your starting point shifts

2) Whatever you do next comes a) with the outcomes of that activity and b) with the experience of the strengths and weaknesses of what you did.

I am reminded of the concept of 'Hilbert Space' that I became familiar with in 2000 when working for one of the most creative web agencies of the era (BAFTA, Cannes, IVCA top awards). Hilbert Space imagines a vortex full of holes; you exist in this space wearing a blindfold and holding a bag of marbles; to progress you role a marble forward, when it roles down a hole you listen out for the shin king noise, shuffle off in that direction, pause, then role another marble: this is how you find your direction, it is progression that is iterative and not in a straight line.

What about dinner?

Why has this been left out? The Business lunch is not about feeding your face at the office's expense, it is in part the experience of the meal, its pleasures and challenges, but also about the conversation and how the longer meal is conducive to so many of the things these exercises set out to achieve: shared points of view, listening, sharing, disagreeing in a non-combatitive manner and potentially leaving the table with some ideas sketched-out on a napkin (or the table-cloth). Other bonds are created, insights too on a person's tastes (literally).

Our problem in the UK (I have lived and worked in France) is that 'we eat to live, whereas the French live to eat'. We had luncheon vouchers to use and went out every day for a proper meal, we might take a work problem with us, we might not (I know setting where no business talk was permitted before the coffee). The dining room table became a meeting room.

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