Online learning programs are also beneficial because they allow students to interact with technology more frequently. Because of the prevalence of technology in today’s world, an online component can be advantageous for college graduates.
Though traditional classroom-based courses can incorporate technology, online programs require students to use computers and the Internet as a means to an end. Students who complete such programs might understand technology on a deeper level and can apply advanced skills throughout their academic careers and professional life.
Divide students into staged groups that rotate with different assignments. Make one group the “first responders,” the second group the “arguers,” and the third group the “consensus builders,” to insure that students engage with their peers.
Teach and model “social citation.” Rather than include “I saw that one of you explained how condensation affects a steam engine,” try this: “Check out Beth’s explanation of the effects of condensation on the steam engine for a good model.” On some assignments, require that students cite posts from their peers that they support or take issue with.
Seed a discussion by requiring some students to summarize exclusively. Obviously this responsibility will have to rotate as well, but it’s a good way to assist readers in quickly understanding the differences between positions in a discussion.
I was surprised by the quality and depth with this one. Here’s an excerpt:
Blended learning should transform learning, not just replicate teaching: Companies want graduates who can source, filter and use existing knowledge to create new knowledge, and the university is key to equipping students with these skills. Yet we seldom see technology tools being used in radically new ways in HE. They are usually used to replicate lectures - think of websites or podcasts - rather than enabling students to learn in new ways.
2)What is the cost-cutting motive behind using technology?
This is a less cynical variation of the profit question. For public schools or even non-profit private schools, the issue often isn’t who gets rich off the students but whether or not using technology will save money, presumably by hiring fewer teachers. Here again we have to ask if the benchmark is student success. There is evidence that replacing a teacher with an online course can save money; there is no evidence that students taking an online course perform as well on either standardized testing or in subsequent retention tests for the content.
This is where I stopped reading because it’s clear this person knows next to nothing about online learning.
The goal of putting a course online isn’t to replace a teacher. What, you think students can just take a course from an accredited school with no faculty member? Are you nuts? If anything, what it puts the college or university in the position to do is pay a full time, tenure track faculty to design the course, and then adjuncts to teach it. If this person knew anything about this topic, they’d know that it actually costs more money to run an online course.
Of course this type of cruddy information is up on the Washington Post. I can’t really be surprised.
"There has been a bit of a tendency toward viewing online education and traditional education as a binary—mutually exclusive and competing with each other. But integrating online learning into traditional classrooms makes a lot of sense for several reasons. The first thing to examine is effectiveness. Ultimately, if online learning doesn’t result in effective knowledge acquisition and good education outcomes there’s no reason to consider it."
It’s a pretty compelling idea, even more so given that it was student-developed rather than corporate. Click through if you’d like to learn a bit more.
I’ve asked several times this year (here, here, and here) if the education world really needs another LMS. Regardless of how boring the Blackboard-bashing has become (to me personally at least), the number of new entrants in the LMS field does indicate that folks believe there’s room for competition and improvement. Certainly there is still a strong (and overwhelmingly negative) response to the incumbent players. As such, almost everyone in the learning management system industry now says that they’re rethinking what an LMS should do.
That includes, of course, Coursekit, which is taking a more social approach than administrative approach to the LMS. “Our goal is to turn courses into communities online,” says CEO Cohen. Doing so “transforms the learning experience from something that happens twice a week into a continuous conversation.”
For his part, Otte took aim at the question of online education being a time-suck for professors — a question that has prompted fears of faculty burnout. But the CUNY technologist suggested that this question does not adequately account for the cost, in time, of finding one’s footing on a new teaching platform.
“We may be confounding the time it takes to do something with the time it takes to learn to do something,” Otte said. The first time instructors teach online, they tend to overcompensate for their ignorance by over-investing their time in the virtual classroom. But that does not mean they will not adjust and adapt — just as most instructors did to the circumstance and demands of classroom teaching when they began their careers.
[This] change will allow instructors to publish and share their courses — syllabi, handouts, and so on — under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY). This will mean that, for the first time, content in Blackboard will be available to those who aren’t registered for a course — learners not enrolled, learners not on campus. Professors will be able to share their material to Facebook and Twitter.
One of the more frequent questions we hear goes something like this:
“I’ve done all the right things: I did my analysis, designed appropriate learning activities, and developed my course using valid instructional design principles. Yet I’m not getting great feedback on my courses. What am I doing wrong?”
The short answer: You’re probably not doing anything wrong.
So how do you improve? Click through for their take.
"The real disruptive threat is to the hundreds of institutions that emulate the elite few at the top. Many of them lack the prestige to hold off for-profit competition and the money that the elites can spend on online curriculum. But their challenge isn’t fundamentally one of money: online tutorials don’t have to be expensive to be effective, as the open-to-all Khan Academy has shown. The much greater challenge for traditional universities and colleges is changing their teaching traditions. Full-time faculty members must not only assent to the inclusion of online learning in the curriculum, they should lead it. Even profit-driven consumer electronics companies tend to respond too slowly to disruptive innovation. Faculty-led institutions need all the time they can get. Notwithstanding the tough economy, now is the time to invest in online learning innovation. “Made-in-Japan” once meant “cheap.” Will the majority of traditional universities and colleges be ready when “online education” means “high-quality learning?"