Problem: you are a highly trained, skilled professional, but the academic job market is less than rosy.
Solution: the market for online, nonacademic courses is large and growing. For “academic entrepreneurs” willing to
retool their courses, this market represents an opportunity to build an independent business or supplement income
According to some estimates, by 2020 the worldwide market for self-paced online learning will be between $27.1 billion and $47.9 billion. The trends driving this growth in the United States involve shifts in the ways that companies hire and train employees, as well as changing expectations about the role of educational institutions.
We set out to determine whether hybrid delivery of a college program could facilitate completion of an apprenticeship. We found unanticipated complexity in the answer. The hybrid program delivered completion rates and average student grades that were comparable to those in a program delivered entirely in the classroom, but in only half the required time. However, we found that performance in the in-class portion of the program was not always linked to apprenticeship completion. The factors affecting completion are varied, in part because different stakeholders place a different value on completion.
Online students need to feel an instructor presence in their classes. Thorough explanations and effective communication help fulfill this need and can transform a mediocre online course into a great one—and it all starts with the syllabus.
89% of colleges and universities in the United States offer online courses and of those institutions 58% offer degree programs that are completely online (Parker, Lenhart & Moore, 2011). Providing online student services is an important component of these distance programs and is often required by accrediting bodies. Health and wellness services for online students are especially essential, as college students are accessing mental health services for severe problems at increasing rates on college campuses (Gallagher, Sysko, & Zhang, 2001). This paper outlines how institutions of higher learning can prepare faculty to identify mental health needs of online students and suggests effective administrative policies and programs to address these student needs.Online enrollments were less than 10% of all students in 2002 when the Sloan Foundation began their annual surveys on the topic.By 2011, 32%of all enrolled post-secondary students were taking at least one online course and the numbers have been increasing steadily (Allen & Seaman, 2013). The rising percentage of online students has led to awareness by college administrations that these students have the same needs as students in a traditional classroom setting. Students who want to learn online also want to access their student services online. For learners enrolled in online programs, and living in geographically distant locations, internet access to student services is essential. These students' needs have resulted in revision of college and university policies and the creation of extensive web-based services for technical support in online courses, enrollment services, financial aid, and library resources.
TheEffective Classroom Interactions (ECI) online courses were designed to provide an engaging, effective and scalable approach to enhancing early childhood teachers’ use of classroom practices that impact children’s school readiness. The created courses included several versions aimed at testing whether or not certain design aspects could increase participation and subsequent learning outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which early childhood teachers accessed the courses and varied in their (a) participation in the core course content and (b) optional discussion board as a result of the course experience they were assigned to as well as individual characteristics that may be associated with participation. As might be expected, findings indicated that early childhood teachers accessed the course often on nights and weekends, even though participating centers allowed their teachers to do coursework during work time. In addition, participants reported high levels of satisfaction with their experience. Both persistence in the ECI courses and overall completion of activities were higher than those reported in other studies of online learning. The participation of early childhood educator teachers was consistently predicted by comfort with technology, credit or non-credit status and assignment to the group that included regular conferences with the instructor. These relationships, however, did not always occur in expected ways. Implications for exploring online learning as a feasible option for early childhood educators are discussed.
The primary focus of any instruction should be to focus on the learning outcomes or capabilities you are trying to achieve. Bloom (1956, 1964) identified three types of learning outcomes: cognitive (knowledge), af ective (attitudes, emotions, and values), and
psychomotor (skills). For each outcome, instructors should also consider the level of outcome they are trying to achieve. So, if you are teaching cognitive skills, such as mathematics or language, you should determine if you need your students to remember (level 1), understand (level 2), apply (level 3), analyze (level 4), evaluate (level 5), or create (level 6) (Krathwohl, 2002). Once you have determined the level(s) of outcome, you should align your assignments to those levels. A multiple-choice exam can assess level 1 and possibly level 2 outcomes, but it will not assess students’ abilities to apply, analyze, evaluate, or create. Consequently, you will need to devise more challenging assignments to elicit higher levels of performance from students, using essays, problem-based learning assignments, and case studies, for example.
In fall 2009, the Chattanooga State Community College math department faced a problem not uncommon to colleges around the nation: Online course offerings had high failure rates and were not a quality experience for students. After examining the data, the department made a bold decision to put a moratorium on online math courses for two years. This move provided time to improve the quality and success of online courses. Since re-offering online mathematics courses again in fall 2011, the college has seen a significant increase in student learning and success. This article outlines the reasons for the decision, the steps taken to improve the program, and the results since reintroducing the courses.
How much time does it take to teach an online course? Does teaching online take more or less time than teaching face-to-face? Instructors, department chairs, deans, and program administrators have long believed that teaching online is more time-consuming than teaching face-to-face. Many research studies and practitioner articles indicate instructor time commitment as a major inhibitor to developing and teaching online courses. However, while they identify the issue and provide possible
solutions, they do not empirically measure actual time commitments or instructor perceptions when comparing online to face-to-face delivery and when comparing multiple iterations of delivery. The results of this study show distinct differences in developing online courses relative to developing face-to-face courses and distinct differences in teaching online courses relative to teaching face-to-face courses. The data from this study can be used by instructors, administrators, and
instructional designers to create higher quality course development processes, training processes, and overall communication.
In an effort to improve writing skills, the Writing Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University developed a series of free online resources and tools for students. However, a recent study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) found that even when integrated into the classroom experience, only a small number of students actually used the tool as they felt it was not relevant to them, and those who did saw no impact on their grades. The authors feel further research is needed into how to best
integrate the service into the classroom, including potentially assigning grades for its use.
International education is becoming an increasingly competitive sector within the field of postsecondary education. Tomorrow’s leaders will be expected to speak multiple languages, work in foreign countries, and bridge cultural differences to achieve social, economic and political objectives. Governments around the world are responding to this trend by intensifying the internationalization of their higher education systems — both attracting a greater number of international students and ensuring their citizens are able to pursue studies beyond national boundaries. In our globalized world, the demand for international education and experience continues to grow rapidly.
A growing number of education and social science researchers design and conduct online research. In this review, the Internet Research Ethics (IRE) policy gap in Canada is identified along with the range of stakeholders and groups that either have a role or have attempted to play a role in forming better ethics policy. Ethical issues that current policy and guidelines fail to address
are interrogated and discussed. Complexities around applying the human subject model to internet research are explored, such as issues of privacy, anonymity, and informed consent. The authors call for immediate action on the Canadian ethics policy gap and urge the research community to consider the situational, contextual, and temporal aspects of IRE in the development
of flexible and responsive policies that address the complexity and diversity of internet research spaces.
Un nombre croissant de recherchistes en enseignement et en sciences sociales conçoivent et dirigent des recherches en ligne. La présente revue identifie les lacunes en matière de politique d’éthique en recherche Internet (Internet Research Ethics - IRE) au Canada, et reconnaît l’éventail d’intervenants et de groupes qui ont soit joué un rôle, soit tenté d’en jouer un, dans la
création d’une meilleure politique d’éthique. On y aborde les enjeux éthiques auxquels les politiques et lignes directrices actuelles ne répondent pas et on s’interroge à ce sujet. On y explore les complexités relatives à l’application du
modèle humain à la recherche dans Internet, comme les enjeux portant sur l’anonymat, le consentement éclairé et le respect de la vie privée. Les auteurs invitent à passer immédiatement à l’action en ce qui a trait aux lacunes en matière de politique d’éthique au Canada, et pressent le milieu de la recherche afin qu’il prenne en considération les aspects situationnels,
contextuels et temporels de l’éthique en recherche Internet dans la création de politiques souples et judicieuses qui abordent la complexité et la diversité des espaces de recherche Internet.
The purpose of this research study was to investigate if and how mobile devices could be used to support the required program outcomes in a blended pre-service teacher education degree. All students enrolled in an educational technology course during the fall 2011 semester were provided with ViewSonic tablets. Through faculty interviews, student online
surveys, and a post- course focus group, the study participants indicated that mobile devices could be useful for supporting future professional responsibilities (e.g., career-long learning, collaboration) and facilitating student learning but less effective for planning, assessment, and managing the classroom environment.
There are many strategies for estimating the effectiveness of instruction. Typically, most methods are based on the student evaluation. Recently a more standardized approach, Quality Matters (QM), has been developed that uses an objectives-based strategy. QM, however, does not account for the learning process, nor for the value and worth of the learning experience. Learning is a complex and individualized process that course designers and instructors can capitalize on to increase the
value and subsequent worth of a course for all stakeholders. This article explores the concepts of value, worth, and quality of online education, seeking a method to improve outcomes by increasing a course’s value and worth.
There is increasing interest, if not demand, from universities and students for faculty to teach using online technologies. However, many faculty members are reluctant to teach online. In this paper, we examine data collected from a broad range of faculty (part-time, tenure track, new and more experienced, in education,business, and liberal arts) to explore the relationship between faculty attitudes, experiences, self-perceived preparedness, and concerns about teaching online courses. In particular, we examine whether faculty who have taught online courses, feel more prepared and more motivated to teach online and have more positive attitudes about online teaching than those who have not taught online. Our findings indicate that while there are a number of concerns about teaching online among the faculty we surveyed, concerns about students are among the most important. We end with some policy and procedural implications for why faculty may or may not usenew technologies to teach.
Have you heard comments like this about online learning courses from faculty colleagues or students?
“I am not sure what we are supposed to do when...”
“There is no interaction, no feeling of belonging, no presence – I didn’t want to read an encyclopedia, I wanted to
“I hated this course. PowerPoints, a disembodied voice at the end of the phone lecturing…”
Even well intentioned designs can go wrong.
Some online courses are poorly thought through and designed and do not reflect what we know about adult learning,
student engagement and learning outcomes, the importance of interaction and feedback and the need for presence. In fact, a number of courses are designed as replicas of classroom courses rather than as courses purposely designed for an online learning environment: what works in a classroom may or may not work online.
Abstract: This article considers the evolution of e-learning and some of the factors that have shaped its implementation. It draws on research conducted in the UK from 2001 to 2008 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
(CIPD) focusing on training and learning in corporate organisations rather than courses offered to students enrolled in educational institutions. The article argues that throughout this period there has been insufficient attention given to the way
learning takes place in organisations. It considers the emerging wave of enthusiasm for Web 2.0, concluding that successful current applications of e-learning simply use a more diverse range of tools and approaches.
Keywords: corporate e-learning; learning technology; Web 2.0; social networking; virtual worlds; Webinars; online support; ‘stuff’ and ‘stir’
What is Next for Mobile Learning?
In December 2015, there were 4.3 billion mobile phone subscribers in the world. In North America, 77% of families have at least one smartphone and 46% have access to a tablet at home. Worldwide, even though only 75% of the world has ready access to electricity, 75% of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone. Some of the most remarkable learning development projects in the world, such as the Commonwealth of Learning’s Learning for Farmers initiative, use mobile phones and simple messaging systems to transform the livelihoods of thousands of families. Learning through mobile devices is possible anywhere and at anytime and is happening now.
In an effort to measure the effectiveness of faculty development courses promoting student engagement, the faculty
development unit of Penn State’s Online Campus conducted a pilot study within a large online Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) program. In all, 2,296 students were surveyed in the spring and summer semesters of 2014 in order to seek their perspectives on (1) the extent of their engagement in the courses and (2) the degree to which their instructors promoted their
engagement. The survey comprised three sub-scales: the first and third sub-scales addressed instructional design aspects of the course, and the second sub-scale addressed attitudes and behaviors whereby the instructors promoted student engagement. The results showed a significant difference on the second sub-scale (sig = 0.003) at the .05 level, indicating that students rated instructors with professional development higher on instructor behaviors that engaged them in their
courses than those instructors who received no professional development. There were no significant differences found for the first and third sub-scales indicating that the instructional design aspects of the courses under investigation were not influenced by instructors’ professional development. Qualitative data showed that three quarters of the students who had instructors whose background included professional development geared to encouraging student engagement felt that their courses had engaged them. Future research will focus on increasing the response rate and exploring in more depth both the instructional design and qualitative aspects of student engagement.
In an effort to measure the effectiveness of faculty development courses promoting student engagement, the faculty development unit of Penn State’s Online Campus conducted a pilot study within a large online Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) program. In all, 2,296 students were surveyed in the spring and summer semesters of 2014 in order to seek their perspectives on (1) the extent of their engagement in the courses and (2) the degree to which their instructors promoted their engagement. The survey comprised three sub-scales: the first and third sub-scales addressed instructional design aspects of the course, and the second sub-scale addressed attitudes and behaviors whereby the instructors promoted student engagement. The results showed a significant difference on the second sub-scale (sig = 0.003) at the .05 level, indicating that students rated instructors with professional development higher on instructor behaviors that engaged them in their courses than those instructors who received no professional development. There were no significant differences found for the first and third sub-scales indicating that the instructional design aspects of the courses under investigation were not influenced by instructors’ professional development. Qualitative data showed that three quarters of the students who had instructors whose background included professional development geared to encouraging student engagement felt that their courses had engaged them. Future research will focus on increasing the response rate and exploring in more depth both the instructional design and qualitative aspects of student engagement.
There have always been students who do not meet the educational expectations of their time—students outside the mainstream mold who do not fit dominant notions of success. The differences between schools and these students can be thought of as a “mismatch” between the structure of schools and the social, cultural, or economic backgrounds of students identified as problems. In this essay we examine the history of these students who have not been able to do what educators wanted them to do. We look at how educators have labeled poor school performers in different periods and how these labels reflected both attitudes and institutional conditions. We then sum-marize four major historical explanations for why children fail in school—individual deficits or incompetence, families, inefficiency in schools, and cultural difference. Finally, we explore what implications this history has for students in the current standards-based reform movement, including implications for social promotion and the age-graded school. To avoid a mismatch in the standards movement, we argue that educators should focus on adapting the school better to the child, addressing social inequalities that extend beyond the classroom, and undertaking comprehensive changes that take no features of current schools for granted.