The Babson Survey Research Group, an organization that tracks online enrollment, notes that between 2012 and 2016 the percent of online enrollment in universities increased 17.2 percent while overall enrollment decreased. But that expansion doesn’t necessarily correlate with how the public perceives the quality of online courses, historically questioned for its lack of rigor and limited measurable learning gains.
A Gallup poll conducted back in 2015, found that 46 percent of Americans “strongly agree” or “agree” that online colleges and universities offer a high-quality education—up 30 percent from when the poll was conducted in 2011.
However, researchers caveat these findings, noting that these perception changes happen within particular pockets and are sometimes the result of strategic practices, such as universities not listing the medium of learning on student transcripts.
The last academic leader perception survey released by the Babson Research Group was in 2016.
“We’ve had more and more of the group in the middle that said, ‘I’m not sure’ move into a pro online learning stance,” says Seaman, speaking of the academic leaders he surveyed in the past. “The negative group [those who viewed online learning negatively] had not wavered at all. The positive group did not waiver at all, but we had a steady migration flow of academic leaders in the middle.”
Lowenthal has also researched student perceptions of online learning in the past, finding that learners tend to give such courses more negative evaluations than in-person courses. He says that the findings may represent the lack of experience some educators have teaching in online classrooms. He expects that to change over time, noting that good teachers in person will eventually become good teachers online.
Among student respondents, 70 percent said they prefer mostly or completely face-to-face learning environments. The professors surveyed were even more partial to face-to-face classes, with 73 percent preferring them.
In higher education, 29.7% of all students are taking at least one distance course.
The total distance enrollments are composed of 14.3% of students (2,902,756)
taking exclusively distance courses and 15.4% (3,119,349) who are taking a
combination of distance and non-distance courses. The vast majority (4,999,112,
or 83.0%) of distance students are studying at the undergraduate level.
Almost half of the distance education students are concentrated in just five percent of the institutions, while the top 47 institutions, only 1.0% of the total, enroll 23.0% (1,385,307) of all distance students.
The total number of students studying on campus (those not taking any distance course or taking a combination of distance and non-distance courses) dropped by almost one million (931,317) between 2012 and 2015. The largest declines came at for-profit institutions, which saw a 31.4% drop, followed by 2-year public institutions, which saw a 10.4% decrease.
69% of online students identified employment as their primary goal for entering a program. 17% are grad students.
Seventy percent of administrators said they launch new programs with enrollment growth in mind, while meeting marketing and recruitment goals was their top concern.
Since the early days of online instruction, the response of many new instructors has been to figure out how to transfer elements of their face-to-face class into the online format. In response, education technology companies have been quick to create products that attempt to replicate in-person teaching. Some examples include learning management systems, lecture capture tools, and early online meeting systems.
online proctoring systems, such as ProctorU or Proctorio, replicate a practice that isn’t effective in-person. Exams are only good for a few things: managing faculty workload and assessing low level skill and content knowledge. What they aren’t good at is demonstrating student learning or mastery of a topic. As authors Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt discuss in their book “Assessing the Online Learner: Resources and Strategies for Faculty,” online exams typically measure skills that require memorization of facts, whereas learning objectives are often written around one’s ability to create, evaluate and analyze course material.
Authentic assessments, rather than multiple choice or other online exams, is one alternative that could be explored. For example, in a chemistry course, students could make a video themselves doing a set problems and explain the process. This would allow instructors to better understand students’ thinking and identify areas that they are struggling in. Another example could be in a psychology course, where students could curate and evaluate a set of resources on a given topic to demonstrate their ability to find, and critically analyze online information. (see Bryan Alexander‘s take on video assignments here: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=bryan+alexander+video+assignments
They lurk behind the scenes of a rapidly growing number of courses at colleges and universities, yet instructional designers are an elusive bunch. Their field is exploding—The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked it as one of the top 10 trends in higher ed this year—as more institutions pursue online and blended-learning offerings. But there hasn’t been much consensus on the role of instructional designers across institutions.
estimates at least 13,000 professionals are in the field at higher-ed institutions. Findings provide a glimpse of who instructional designers are:
The average age of IDs is 45 years old
67 percent are female
87 percent have master’s degrees
More than half have teaching experience
IDs reported that their duties vary from day to day, but that their work generally fits into four buckets: design (e.g., creating new or redeveloping old courses); management (e.g., overseeing projects from cradle to grave); training (e.g., helping faculty use new technologies); and support (e.g., providing timely help for LMS questions from faculty).
Date: Wednesday, April 3rd Time: 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM Conference Session: Concurrent Session 3 Streamed session Lead Presenter: Brian Kane (General Design LLC) Track: Research: Designs, Methods, and Findings Location: Juniper A Session Duration: 45min Brief Abstract:What happens when you apply design thinking to AI? AI presents a fundamental change in the way people interact with machines. By applying design thinking to the way AI is made and used, we can generate an unlimited amount of new ideas for products and experiences that people will love and use.https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/olc-innovate-2019-session-page/?session=6964&kwds=
Notes from the session:
design thinking: get out from old mental models. new narratives; get out of the sci fi movies.
we need machines to make mistakes. Ai even more then traditional software.
Lessons learned: don’t replace people
Date: Thursday, April 4th Time: 8:45 AM to 9:30 AM Conference Session: Concurrent Session 4 Streamed session Lead Presenter: Matt Crosslin (University of Texas at Arlington LINK Research Lab) Track: Experiential and Life-Long Learning Location: Cottonwood 4-5 Session Duration: 45min Brief Abstract:How can teachers utilize chatbots and artificial intelligence in ways that won’t remove humans out of the education picture? Using tools like Twine and Recast.AI chatobts, this session will focus on how to build adaptive content that allows learners to create their own heutagogical educational pathways based on individual needs.++++++++++++++++
Date: Thursday, April 4th Time: 9:45 AM to 10:30 AM Conference Session: Concurrent Session 5 Streamed session Lead Presenter: Maikel Alendy (FIU Online) Co-presenter: Sky V. King (FIU Online – Florida International University) Track: Teaching and Learning Practice Location: Cottonwood 4-5 Session Duration: 45min Brief Abstract:“This is Us” demonstrates how leveraging storytelling in learning engages students to effectively communicate their authentic story, transitioning from consumerism to become creators and influencers. Addressing responsibility as a digital citizen, information and digital literacy, online privacy, and strategies with examples using several edtech tools, will be reviewed.++++++++++++++++++
Date: Thursday, April 4th Time: 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM Conference Session: Concurrent Session 6 Streamed session Lead Presenter: Kristin Bushong (Arizona State University ) Co-presenter: Heather Nebrich (Arizona State University) Track: Effective Tools, Toys and Technologies Location: Juniper C Session Duration: 45min Brief Abstract:Considering today’s overstimulated lifestyle, how do we engage busy learners to stay on task? Join this session to discover current efforts in implementing ubiquitous educational opportunities through customized interests and personalized learning aspirations e.g., adaptive math tools, AI support communities, and memory management systems.+++++++++++++
Date: Thursday, April 4th Time: 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM Conference Session: Concurrent Session 7 Streamed session Lead Presenter: Katie Linder (Oregon State University) Co-presenter: June Griffin (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) Track: Teaching and Learning Practice Location: Cottonwood 4-5 Session Duration: 45min Brief Abstract:The concept of High-impact Educational Practices (HIPs) is well-known, but the conversation about transitioning HIPs online is new. In this session, contributors from the edited collection High-Impact Practices in Online Education will share current HIP research, and offer ideas for participants to reflect on regarding implementing HIPs into online environments.https://www.aacu.org/leap/hipshttps://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/LEAP/HIP_tables.pdf+++++++++++++++++++++++
Date: Thursday, April 4th Time: 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM Streamed session Lead Presenter: Manoush Zomorodi (Stable Genius Productions) Track: N/A Location: Adams Ballroom Session Duration: 1hr 15min Brief Abstract:How can we ensure that students and educators thrive in increasingly digital environments, where change is the only constant? In this keynote, author and journalist Manoush Zomorodi shares her pioneering approach to researching the effects of technology on our behavior. Her unique brand of journalism includes deep-dive investigations into such timely topics as personal privacy, information overload, and the Attention Economy. These interactive multi-media experiments with tens of thousands of podcast listeners will inspire you to think creatively about how we use technology to educate and grow communities.Friday
Date: Friday, April 5th Time: 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM Streamed session Lead Presenter: Michael Caulfield (Washington State University-Vancouver) Track: N/A Location: Adams Ballroom Position: 2 Session Duration: 60min Brief Abstract:Years ago, John Lyndon (then Johnny Rotten) sang that “anger is an energy.” And he was right, of course. Anger isn’t an emotion, like happiness or sadness. It’s a reaction, a swelling up of a confused urge. I’m a person profoundly uncomfortable with anger, but yet I’ve found in my professional career that often my most impactful work begins in a place of anger: anger against injustice, inequality, lies, or corruption. And often it is that anger that gives me the energy and endurance to make a difference, to move the mountains that need to be moved. In this talk I want to think through our uneasy relationship with anger; how it can be helpful, and how it can destroy us if we’re not careful.++++++++++++++++
Date: Friday, April 5th Time: 10:45 AM to 11:30 AM Conference Session: Concurrent Session 10 Streamed session Lead Presenter: Laurie Daily (Augustana University) Co-presenter: Sharon Gray (Augustana University) Track: Problems, Processes, and Practices Location: Juniper A Session Duration: 45min Brief Abstract:The purpose of this session is to explore the implementation of a Community of Practice to support professional development, enhance online course and program development efforts, and to foster community and engagement between and among full and part time faculty.+++++++++++++++
Date: Friday, April 5th Time: 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM Conference Session: Concurrent Session 11 Streamed session Lead Presenter: Katrina Rainer (Strayer University) Co-presenter: Jennifer M McVay-Dyche (Strayer University) Track: Teaching and Learning Practice Location: Cottonwood 2-3 Session Duration: 45min Brief Abstract:Learning is more effective and organic when we teach through the art of storytelling. At Strayer University, we are blending the principles story-driven learning with research-based instructional design practices to create engaging learning experiences. This session will provide you with strategies to strategically infuse stories into any lesson, course, or curriculum.
interviewed administrators at systems across the United States for a wide look at how the landscape is shifting.
The University of Missouri System last year signaled plans to increase its total enrollment from 75,000 to 100,000 by 2023. Administrators pointed to online education as a key driver of future growth.
In other ways, the Missouri system’s approach could look similar to Massachusetts’. Administrators in Missouri are pondering the creation of a separate entity within the system that would offer online programs to adult learners.
Senior administrators and board members at Louisiana State University began looking at online education in the early 2010s.
From 2016 to 2018, Sasha Thackaberry served as assistant vice president of academic technology, course production and alternative learning models at Southern New Hampshire University. Louisiana State hired her in February 2018 to lead its online growth; three months later, she was promoted from associate vice provost to vice provost of digital and continuing education.
When Kristina Johnson became chancellor of the State University of New York system in 2017, she challenged administrators to consider a wide range of possibilities for growing online capabilities. According to Tod Laursen, SUNY’s senior vice chancellor and provost, the system has just wrapped up an information-gathering process that will inform a soon-to-be-released request for proposals. Johnson has slated for this fall a major online learning initiative, the details of which are still being ironed out.
Colorado State University Online serves as an online program manager for the state system — distinct from Colorado State University Global, which has a separate faculty and governance structure, and tends to serve adults at an average age in their 30s. CSU Online, by contrast, tends to serve “less seasoned” students between 24 and 34 years old, according to Amy Smith, senior director of CSU Online.
Weakest students more likely to take online college classes but do worse in them
Survey of rigorous academic research on online education finds lower grades and higher drop out rates Column by JILL BARSHAY February 4, 2019
According to the most recent federal statistics from 2016, roughly one out of every three or 6.3 million college students learned online. That number is growing even as fewer people are going to college.
Online degrees are also concentrated among a handful of nonprofit universities. Just three — Western Governors University, Liberty University and Southern New Hampshire University — enroll about a third of all online students at private, nonprofit institutions.
overwhelming research evidence that community college students aren’t faring well in online classes
Another 2017 study of students at a for-profit university which offers both in-person and online classes found that students who took an online class not only got lower grades in that class but also in future classes. Online students were more likely to drop out of college altogether than similar students who attended in-person classes.
There are much stronger results for courses that combine supplemental materials online with traditional, face-to-face instruction. But the authors do not consider this hybrid instruction to be “online” learning.
Embracing online school requires a new mindset, as well as new criteria for measuring academic success—measures that take into account the nature of teaching and learning online, the types of students online schools serve, and the unique ways in which those students learn.
Teachers interact with students during synchronous learning sessions, and they connect one-on-one through calls, online chats, texts, and interactive whiteboard sessions.
Accountability measures must adapt to and reflect a self-paced, competency-based learning environment. A traditional one-size-fits-all rubric does not translate cleanly with respect to online schools.