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.
more on online learning in this IMS blog
Jones, C., Watkins, F., Williams, J., Lambros, A., Callahan, K., Lawlor, J., … Atkinson, H. (2019). A 360-degree assessment of teaching effectiveness using a structured-videorecorded observed teaching exercise for faculty development. Medical Education Online, 24(1), 1596708. https://doi.org/10.1080/10872981.2019.1596708
enable faculty to receive a detailed 360-degree assessment of their teaching
The faculty in Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM) saw an opportunity to incorporate a focused teaching practicum for faculty within a multiple-specialty faculty development program. 360-degree assessments involve a combination of feedback from subordinates, colleagues and superiors. 360-degree feedback has been considered an essential tool in transformational leadership because the evaluation process avoids bias through diversity of viewpoints represented, and it is rarely applied to teaching assessments. Specifically, we designed a teaching practicum using a Videorecorded Observed Teaching Exercise (VOTE) to provide self-, peer- and learner assessments of teaching
Our design of videorecorded microteaching sessions embedded into a faculty development program presents a feasible, well-received model to provide faculty development in teaching and a robust 360-degree assessment of teaching skills.
Two strengths of our program are that it is feasible and reproducible.
In addition, costs for these sessions were low. VOTE video capture costs ranged from $45 – $90 per session depending on the audiovisual capacity of the room used for recording. Costs for this activity included an audiovisual technician who performed the room setup and videorecording. However, a handheld videorecorder or mobile device could be used for these sessions as well.
more on video 360 in this iMS blog
studies from the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research. The first, published in October, surveyed more than 40,000 students at 118 U.S. institutions, while the second, published this week, drew on data from 9,500 faculty members across 119 US institutions.
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.
more on F2F in this IMS blog
Faculty searching for survey[s] reflecting students’ feelings about the level of belonging to online community.
Drouin, M., & Vartanian, L. (2010). Students’ feelings of and desire for sense of community in face-to-face and online courses.(Survey). Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 11(3).
Keengwe, J., & Wilsey, B. (2012). Online graduate students’ perceptions of face-to-face classroom instruction.(Report). International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 8(3), 45–54. https://doi.org/10.4018/jicte.2012070106
Singh, A., & Srivastava, S. (2014). Development and Validation of Student Engagement Scale in the Indian Context. Global Business Review, 15(3), 505–515. https://doi.org/10.1177/0972150914535137
If you teach fully online, please share your favorite for ice breaker activities (include names of tools used if needed). Thanks!
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the Open Syllabus Project
Why are professors hesitant to share their syllabi? “My guess is that folks are worried that it will get critiqued in ways that they’re not comfortable,” Becker says. “Some professors aren’t as confident in their teaching as they are in their research.”
The public website of the Open Syllabus Project does not give access to individual syllabi and does not say what professors are teaching which texts. Instead, it lets users search aggregate information drawn from the collection.
Online Learning’s ‘Greatest Hits’
Robert Ubell (Columnist) Feb 20, 2019
dean of web-based distance learning
Learning Management Systems
Neck and neck for the top spot in the LMS academic vendor race are Blackboard—the early entry and once-dominant player—and coming-up quickly from behind, the relatively new contender, Canvas, each serving about 6.5 million students . The LMS market today is valued at $9.2 billion.
Digital Authoring Systems
Faced with increasingly complex communication technologies—voice, video, multimedia, animation—university faculty, expert in their own disciplines, find themselves technically perplexed, largely unprepared to build digital courses.
instructional designers, long employed by industry, joined online academic teams, working closely with faculty to upload and integrate interactive and engaging content.
nstructional designers, as part of their skillset, turned to digital authoring systems, software introduced to stimulate engagement, encouraging virtual students to interface actively with digital materials, often by tapping at a keyboard or touching the screen as in a video game. Most authoring software also integrates assessment tools, testing learning outcomes.
With authoring software, instructional designers can steer online students through a mixtape of digital content—videos, graphs, weblinks, PDFs, drag-and-drop activities, PowerPoint slides, quizzes, survey tools and so on. Some of the systems also offer video editing, recording and screen downloading options
As with a pinwheel set in motion, insights from many disciplines—artificial intelligence, cognitive science, linguistics, educational psychology and data analytics—have come together to form a relatively new field known as learning science, propelling advances in a new personalized practice—adaptive learning.
Of the top providers, Coursera, the Wall Street-financed company that grew out of the Stanford breakthrough, is the champion with 37 million learners, followed by edX, an MIT-Harvard joint venture, with 18 million. Launched in 2013, XuetangX, the Chinese platform in third place, claims 18 million.
Former Yale President Rick Levin, who served as Coursera’s CEO for a few years, speaking by phone last week, was optimistic about the role MOOCs will play in the digital economy. “The biggest surprise,” Levin argued, “is how strongly MOOCs have been accepted in the corporate world to up-skill employees, especially as the workforce is being transformed by job displacement. It’s the right time for MOOCs to play a major role.”
In virtual education, pedagogy, not technology, drives the metamorphosis from absence to presence, illusion into reality. Skilled online instruction that introduces peer-to-peer learning, virtual teamwork and other pedagogical innovations stimulate active learning. Online learning is not just another edtech product, but an innovative teaching practice. It’s a mistake to think of digital education merely as a device you switch on and off like a garage door.
more on online learning in this IMS blog