Campuses not meeting demand for hybrid classes

The percentage of students who prefer online classes has skyrocketed since 2007.

College students enrolled in entirely-online courses might prefer more face-to-face learning, according to a survey that says higher education is in need of more “hybrid” courses.

Hybrid or “blended” classes, shown by the Education Department (ED) to be more successful than web-based education, include online curriculum mixed with occasional in-person lectures.

Read more on hybrid courses in higher education……Read More

Report predicts online learning explosion by 2015

More students are taking exclusively online college courses.

The number of college students taking online college courses will equal the number of students who attend classes in a traditional classroom by 2015, according to a market research firm whose research contradicts another recent study suggesting a possible leveling off in online learning.

The research firm, Ambient Insight, released a report this month that focuses on the varying demand for educational technology tools in K-12 schools and universities. The report also details growth trends that suggest the recent spike in online college courses likely wasn’t a passing phase.

In four years, the report said, there will be more than 25 million postsecondary students taking at least one online course. But the more jarring statistic might be Ambient Insight’s projections for traditional courses.…Read More

Instructing online instructors

Responding to student questions can become a fulltime job.

Tammy Hall encourages first-time online instructors to ready themselves for any and all student questions on the first day of class, knowing that no amount of prep can fend off queries that might, temporarily, stump the new teacher.

Hall, who is director of academic services for the Louisiana Community & Technical College System (LCTCS)—which includes 16 colleges throughout the state—has overseen a program aiming to hone online instructors’ teaching skills as more students gravitate toward web-based classes.

The seven-week pilot program that launched in October helps educators make the shift from the traditional classroom to an online forum and teaches them how to use social media and other tools to communicate with students.…Read More

No housing allowance for veterans who take only online courses

Service members who attend for-profit colleges are more likley to take online courses.

Military service members have to take at least one face-to-face course before they are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s housing allowance, although some veterans are unclear about the allowance requirement and how it affects their class selection.

In a report issued by the American Council on Education (ACE) Nov. 11, servicemen and women who use the new benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill passed last year said face-to-face classes were preferable to online classes during the transition from the battlefield to the lecture hall.

But some veterans whose course load was mostly online said they signed up for one brick-and-mortar course only to receive the GI Bill’s housing allowance. And in ACE focus groups, soldiers said they thought they would need more than one traditional course to apply for living expenses.…Read More

Online-instruction leader to make key changes

Critics charge that for-profit schools are accepting unqualified students.
Critics charge that for-profit schools are accepting unqualified students.

In a move that might trickle down to the rest of the for-profit education market, the University of Phoenix—the nation’s largest provider of online college classes—says it will offer new students a free, three-week trial program to see if they are ready for its curricula and for online instruction in an effort to weed out those at risk of leaving school before earning a degree.

The announcement comes as the federal government ramps up its regulation of for-profit colleges and universities, an industry that critics say preys on many students and leaves them with hefty debt loads and meager job prospects.

But Apollo Group Inc., the company that runs the University of Phoenix, says this change—and others the company will make as it seeks to comply with new federal guidelines—likely will result in fewer opportunities for lower-income students.…Read More