From putting lectures online to offering math homework in 3-D and creating massive open online courses accessible to anyone for free, colleges and universities are marshaling new technology and the Internet to educate students in novel ways, U.S. News reports.

Anyone headed to campus these days should get set for “a blended experience,” says David Leebron, president of Rice University and an advocate of online learning. While some college students will probably still have an entirely brick-and-mortar experience, Leebron says, other folks “may get their education entirely online.” Most will find themselves mixing traditional and virtual learning.

Much of this terrain is still uncharted, and some online models have been more successful than others as colleges and universities learn how to integrate technology into their curriculums effectively. But it’s inevitable that online learning will shape undergraduate education going forward, experts say.

… At Bentley University, for example, students in these “flipped classrooms” use computers or mobile devices outside class to watch videos describing how to build spreadsheets and Web pages as part of senior lecturer Mark Frydenberg’s Introduction to Information Technology course. They then come to class to apply that knowledge, doing actual building and having the opportunity to get their questions answered.

Sophomore Maria Clarice Chua says that previewing material before class helps students to understand how to use various digital formats when they meet. Class time allows for “more of a hands-on approach,” she notes. “It’s much more rewarding.”

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eCampus News staff and wire reports


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