E-Learning Expert: Too Much Online Education is “Regurgitation”

February 1, 2001

Calling much of what passes for online learning “regurgitation … where you spit back what someone tells you,” Dr. Randy Accetta, Magellan University’s director of professional education ( www.magellan.edu), will take his message to the Sixth Annual Continuing Professional Education Conference in San Diego March 19.

Accetta will present the keynote speech the second day of the March 18-20 event, sponsored by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, at the Hilton San Diego Resort. Accetta has taught at the University of Arizona and other institutions and has extensively researched, written, and spoken on distance education.

He trains other Magellan University online educators (some of whom are faculty members at institutions such as the University of Miami and Ohio University).

“To really learn something, you need to talk about it, to write about it, to think the material through with others,” claimed Accetta, whose presentation will critique popular computer- and Web-based training models. “True learningmust be driven by interaction among students and between instructor and student.”

Instead, he says, contemporary technologies — with all the promise they hold for education — are being used “simply to disseminate low-level and outdated information.”

Besides his credentials in e-learning and distance education, Accetta is a well-known running coach who competed in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. He coaches for the Arizona chapter of the marathon Team in Training, a fundraising program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. A motivational speaker and a writer, Accetta can be seen occasionally on ESPN.

This is the second year in a row for a Magellan University administrator to deliver a keynote address at the annual CPE conference. Last year, Dr. Bill Noyes, Magellan’s president, spoke about online training.

Founded in 1994 by a group of university administrators — including Noyes, a longtime University of Arizona senior administrator, and Dr. John P. Schaefer, president emeritus of the University of Arizona — Magellan delivers teacher-led, student-centered distance-learning programs to individual enrollees as well as students and employees at other institutions, businesses, and government agencies.

Magellan University 4320 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 230 Tucson, Arizona 85718 520/299-3811, 800/499-9338 www.magellan.edu

Contact Information

Magellan University

Dr. Randy Accetta, 800/499-4338, ext. 103