High Enrollment Demands, Stretched Resources Higher education institutions are increasingly caught in a bind: Trying to serve growing enrollment demand with budgets based on the lower student counts of previous years. According to the Campus Computing Project’s 2011 Community Colleges and the Economy Survey, “More than two-thirds (69 percent) of the 448 campus presidents and district chancellors participating in the 2011 survey report increased headcount enrollment in winter 2011; concurrently,
three-fifths of the presidents participating in the survey report a reduction in the overall operating budget at their institution; two-fifths (41 percent) report that the budget cut was five percent or more.” This situation can lead to issues such as:
• over enrollments, especially in core courses, which creates a less-than-optimal and frustrating learning
experience for faculty and students;
• delayed graduation for students because of enrollment delays; and
• reduced retention rates as students seek other schools that can offer smaller class sizes and faster
Institutions typically can’t solve this problem by adding more sections to a class. They don’t have the budget to hire new faculty or support staff, and increased tuition revenues from higher enrollments may not cover the funding gap. Larger or overflow classroom space also may not be available, especially in an urban campus. From these factors, the core challenge emerges: How do campuses educate and graduate more students — with the same staff and classroom resources — while maintaining high learning levels and teaching standards?
Using Technology to Scale Classroom Instruction An emerging solution to this challenge is the use of blended learning curriculum design and lecture capture technology. This solution delivers courses through a mix of online and in-class content and participation.
Online lectures serve as the foundation of the blended learning model. The instructor can associate the lecture
video with online content and collaboration tools in order to deliver a complete learning experience to both on-campus and distance students. Availability of a recorded lecture can enable teaching and learning in multiple ways. For example, an inverted
teaching model is possible. Students watch a video lecture before the class, then arrive ready to discuss the lecture’s topic or work on a related activity.
By reviewing statistics on content access, instructors can identify where additional explanation is needed and
improve the content of the lecture or study materials.
Technology also helps instructors better serve students with special learning needs, using tools to create closed captioning of a video lecture and for compatibility with screen readers and other accessibility tools.
For students, the blended model delivers learning that is convenient and fits within their work schedules and
personal lives. They can access the lecture video and other content from a PC, tablet or smartphone, and from anywhere they can connect to the Internet.
How Blended Learning Helps Higher Education Technologies for delivering online access to classroom instruction offers several advantages for students, faculty,and their colleges and universities.
• Students can access the courses they need at the right time, increasing the likelihood they will graduate on
schedule. A clear, certain education path also increases student satisfaction and retention.