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Quality Assurance and Online Higher Education

Quality Assurance and Online Higher Education
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Author(s): Edward D. Garten (University of Dayton, USA) and Tedi Thompson (American Public University System, USA)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 11
Source title: Online and Distance Learning: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lawrence A. Tomei (Robert Morris University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-935-9.ch250


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This is an urgently needed topic. It is the author’s conviction that, currently, there are no 21st century schools and, even worse, there is no substantive and widely held vision about what such schools should look like, and what the role and competencies of teachers in those schools should be. So, the tendency of most educators writing about needed 21st century teaching competencies will be to pretty much “rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.” Most will be driven by another equally repugnant cliché, “Technology is only a tool,” and they will try to determine how this misunderstood tool can best enhance out-of-date and fast-aging approaches to K-12 curriculum, instruction, and assessment. This is not to say that the wonderful array of traditional teaching competencies and skills that have enabled teachers to have generally done such an impressive job of teaching our children over the last century will cease to be important. The ability of teachers to understand and connect with students; to impart considerable knowledge and wisdom about their subject; to provide them with good adult role models; to cultivate their motivation for learning; to encourage their sensitivity toward, and appreciation of, individual and cultural differences; to prepare them for post-secondary education and/or the world of work; and even, to sometimes be “the sage on the stage,” will remain critical competencies as long as there is a teaching profession. But just as technology has dramatically transformed society, the way we work, the way we live, even the way we think about things, schools must be dramatically transformed in the way they work, in the way content is processed, and maybe most importantly, in the way teachers teach and students learn.

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