When Disney Meets the Research Park: Metaphors and Models for Engineering an Online Learning Community of Tomorrow
Department of Family Therapy
Internet and Higher Education
It is suggested that educators look to an environment in which qualitative research can be learned in more flexible and creative ways—an online learning community known as the Research Park Online (RPO). This model, based upon Walt Disney's 1966 plan for his “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” (EPCOT) and university cooperative research centers, proposes universities, through qualitative engineering, develop online learning communities dedicated to faculty and students' explorations. The RPO resources would be constructed from “Contextualized Learning Objects for Constructing Knowledge” (CLOCKs) through which park goers can generate new knowledge and technology, blaze personal pathways to knowledge, engage park guides to traverse well-worn trails, and design experiences to meet lifelong learning needs. In the RPO, attractions, such as Methods Commons, University Communities, and CLOCKWorks, would be engineered so that students and faculty could learn and research at their own rates and according to their own needs.
Chenail, R. J. (2004). When Disney Meets the Research Park: Metaphors and Models for Engineering an Online Learning Community of Tomorrow. Internet and Higher Education, 7 (2), 107-121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.03.001