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Thought leaders in Online Education: Gary Matkin, Dean of Continuing Education, UC Irvine (Part 6)

Posted on Monday, Apr 21st 2014

Sramana: Even in the future, this is something that will have to be done with technology. Teachers need to be empowered to use that technology. I just don’t see how teachers can be required to architect the design.

Gary Matkin: It is going to have to be done more and more by teachers. They are going to have to get more involved with the design of courses than they are now.

Sramana: They may be involved in the course design process but that does not necessarily mean that they are going to have to do learning architecture design. I think we disagree here. I just don’t see ‘teachers as architects’ being scalable.

Gary Matkin: I don’t agree with you on that point of view. The most effective teachers we have right now are those who are involved with design. They are coming up with very creative solutions to convey information that our designers would not have otherwise conveyed. Our designers do not have the domain expertise to know that the content should have been there. Teachers, when they understand what the design elements are, can produce some wonderful stuff.

Sramana: Today there is relatively low penetration of these technologies on both the design side and the education side.

Gary Matkin: Every time you say the phrase ‘right now’ an alarm should go up. We are talking about a future that is arriving very quickly.

Sramana: That’s the point I am hoping to make. The future is coming quickly and the teacher as architect model is not scalable to meet the future needs.

Gary Matkin: I don’t think it is scalable to add dozens and dozens of structural designers into a process that is presently done by teachers. I think that the best way to scale is to get teachers to understand structural design much better than they do. That is the way that you get scale out of it.

Sramana: The computer scientist in me completely disagrees with you. That is not how software is designed and that is not how software should be designed. I think we have to agree to disagree on that topic. One question that is of huge interest to our audience is entrepreneurship education. Do you offer anything in entrepreneurship education?

Gary Matkin: We don’t offer much in entrepreneur education because the field is crowded with a lot of providers. Almost every business school that I know of has one or more entrepreneur centers. UCI has two of those centers for its undergraduates. The competition in that particular space is very keen. There are a lot of programs popping up all over the place now. It is not a market that we are going after. Entrepreneurs do not have a lot of money to spend on courses and they probably do not have a lot of time to spend learning what they should know but don’t. It is a tough market for continuing education although I think it is great when it happens.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought leaders in Online Education: Gary Matkin, Dean of Continuing Education, UC Irvine
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