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The H-OEH Network. Fostering Online Education in Literature and the Humanities. by Boria Sax, Ph.D. From the H-Net Catalog of Lists:.

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The H-OEH Network

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The H-OEH Network

Fostering Online Education in Literature and the Humanities


Boria Sax, Ph.D.

From the H-Net Catalog of Lists:

Though thousands of colleges and universities now offer courses online, there are still relatively few online programs in the humanities. This network is intended for discussion of the ways in which online courses may be used to teach literature, art, philosophy, music, history, psychology, social science and related subjects. Important themes will include pedagogic technique and the philosophy of education. While the network is primarily intended for professors, others who have an interest in the subject including students, course wizards and administrators are invited to subscribe.

In an informal search of degree programs online in 2003, we found:

  • 19 complete degree programs in English or Writing

  • 41 in Computer Science

  • 80 in Engineering

  • 92 in Business.

  • 2 in Art History

  • 2 in Philosophy

  • 18 in Physical Education

  • 19 in Nursing.

Possible Reasons for the Lag:

  • Humanities have a tradition of solitary scholarship, while online education is relatively communal

  • Humanities are relatively tied to the book as a medium

  • Humanists feel themselves on the defensive in academia, and, therefore, suspicious of change

“…men’s wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation. Neither are they fitly to be called images, because they generate still, and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and causing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages”

Francis Bacon,

The Advancement of Knowledge

The culture of print is oriented towards permanence, and poets such as Shakespeare often wrote of how words might confer immortality.

The culture of digital media embraces transience. A web site is not intended to last forever.

How can these be reconciled?

H-OEH was started in response

to theseconcerns.

H-OEH will contain a website devoted to Humanities Online

The most important aspect of H-OEH is the discussion list.

The tone of the list is friendly and generally informal. Some of our messages are intended to spark debate

What is the “ spiritual dimension” of online education?

Or is “spirituality” the wrong word?

To subscribe to, or explore, H-OEH go to:

Thank you for your attention

We hope you will join us in the discussions

at H-OEH.

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