The Voice Magazine – Interview with Vive Kumar

Vive Kumar waxes lyrical on the differences between online and face-to-face learning, the value of analytics, and the importance of culture and spirituality in learning. Good, thought-provoking stuff. I too get a bit sentimental about some of the things about physical proximity that Vive misses in the online teaching environment, but I think there are lots of positive differences too, not least the control it offers, the student-centred shifts in power relationships it almost enforces, the rich variety of pace that it effortlessly supports, and the huge knowledge-forming benefits of reified dialogue. Also, overcoming the challenges and understanding the nature of those differences is one of the main things that keeps it interesting for me. It’s different, but that’s often a good thing.

I have greatly enjoyed this series of faculty interviews in AUSU’s Voice Magazine (and been the subject of one of them, as have Terry Anderson and George Siemens). It’s really helpful in starting to make those human connections that Vive talks about in this interview. I have also really enjoyed the student interviews with which they are interspersed, that help to provide a glimpse of the human beings that we normally only see in caricature through their learning interactions. A great series. The Voice magazine is a treasure that I only discovered as a result of being interviewed. For those that work at Athabasca U or that want to understand its culture and processes, it’s a great read. It’s a bit hard to navigate around it at times, but it’s well worth the effort.

Address of the bookmark: http://www.voicemagazine.org/articles/featuredisplay.php?ART=10501

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology and teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems, of which I am the Chair. I am married, with two grown-up children, and live in beautiful Vancouver.

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