Unbundling and re-bundling in higher education

Just thinking about how higher education will unbundle won’t be enough


With the explosion of online learning, a disruptive innovation, there has been significant attention paid to the likely unbundling of higher education (see Michael Staton’s AEI piece and this University Ventures Fund piece, for example).

The Clayton Christensen Institute has written unbundling recently. In every industry, the early successful products and services often have an interdependent architecture—meaning that they tend to be proprietary and bundled.…Read More

How to prevent online learning from ruining your reputation

As more students sign up for online classes, it’s up to reputable online proctoring companies to ensure that test-takers have integrity and authenticity

online-learning-proctoring By the end of 2014, 80 percent of higher education students are expected to take some or all of their classes online, according to Pulp-PR’s recent infographic —and statistics like that make online proctoring providers very happy.

Cheating can lead to a “slow erosion” of a school’s reputation, said Jarrod Morgan, executive vice president of an online proctoring company ProctorU.

Educators have become more concerned about online cheating with the expansion of online learning, as millions of students around the globe sit down to take exams online without anyone to monitor them.…Read More

6 keys to a good online course

Here’s a hint: It’s not really about the technology

good-online-courseOnline learning is about changing the delivery of instruction, but if it’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that good teaching, just like in the traditional classroom, makes or breaks the course. But what are the other characteristics of a good online course?

“In the current frenzy around online education and MOOCs, we spend a lot of time focused on the science of what technology can enable — and less on the art about what may actually make an online course good,” writes PandoDaily.

Surprisingly, recent studies on MOOCs from Duke University, as well as many current articles on the topic of ‘what makes a good online course’ from both educators and students, all agree that the actual technology platform, or the recording technology used, has very little to do with an online course’s success.…Read More

A shocking difference between online and traditional students

New study reveals retention rates are all about how students perceive time

perspective-online-studentsThere are many ‘practical’ reasons why a student would pick an online course over an onsite course: money, time constraints, travel time, and supplementing education rather than obtaining a full degree. But a new study reveals that one of the major reasons for dropout rates in online learning has a lot to do with the psycho-social profile of the student.

It’s an intrapsychological factor called temporal perspective (TP) and it’s pretty much the glass half-full/half-empty scenario, mixed in with some other perceptions. And, say researchers Margarida Romero and Mireia Usart from ESADE, it’s a major reason why many online classes have low retention rates.

“Instead of looking to demographics to paint a portrait of the online student, we believe lecturers and administration need to look at the social psychology of online students to determine which students are more likely to succeed and how to address their needs,” they say.…Read More

A game-changer for online retention

A good online community is the best way to keep students motivated

communities-retention-online In a recent think-tank panel in D.C. on trends in higher-ed, one online learning expert from Arizona State University said that the next big discussion for colleges and universities would be on online communities. But why is it so important for online learning?

The simplest answer is that students like it, so they stick around. But why do students in an online environment need community, and what are some key features of a good community?

According to Cheryl Oliver, assistant dean of Online and Graduate Programs at the College of Business, Washington State University (WSU), retention rate increases with community because humans are social by nature.…Read More

Why online teaching is profitable

Why the business world is drawn to online teaching

online-teaching-businessInnovations in technology are poised to upend how students learn and the way educational institutions impart knowledge to people around the world, according to panelists at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

The internet and access to computers have already rapidly changed the way teachers interact with students. Now, the sector is attracting attention from entrepreneurs who are rushing to roll out products such as online classrooms and educational games.

Michael Moe, chief investment officer at GSV Asset Management, said the business world is drawn to education because the many troubles in the sector present an opportunity.…Read More

6 facts on online vs. offline learning

New infographic reveals interesting comparisons between traditional and online learning

online-learning-infographicWhen talking about higher education, it’s hard not to run into a discussion on what’s really better for student learning: online learning or offline learning? Of course, the key is to offer both, and potentially emphasize blended learning as the less polarizing option, but if we were to look at bare bones facts about the two modes of learning, how are they the same? Different?

According to a new infographic provided by Get a Real Degree, a website dedicated to helping potential students find an online degree from a “real” school, there are more similarities between offline and online learning than you may think.

“Some argue that traditional learning is better because is the only way to maintain a fluid and solid learning process,” said the website. “However, students seem to prefer the online learning model and in most cases obtain better results (when comparing the same courses online vs. offline models). The cost is another important factor. Online degrees can be up to 80 times less expensive than traditional degrees. This is a universal rule, but this can be a decisive point for the student’s choice.”…Read More

New platform challenges conventional MOOCs

Coursmos debuts micro-learning method as a solution to low completion rates

coursmos-MOOCs-online One of the most prominent topics educators debate in ed-tech is the effectiveness of massive open online courses, better known as MOOCs. While many say students benefit from the platforms’ diverse selection of course materials and easy access, low completion rates remain problematic for the MOOC movement.

To fight these low rates, a new learning platform Coursmos, has launched a non-traditional method of online education. Founded by a Russian team and based primarily in Redwood City, Calif., Coursmos started as a way to “educate Generation Distracted” and offers micro courses that teach material in chunks.…Read More

How to support faculty developing online and flipped courses

Virginia Tech rethinks instructional design and faculty development support

support-faculty-onlineIn an ideal world, we would all have custom, personalized support standing at the ready to provide just-in-time response to our need for guidance and support. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could provide this for faculty developing online courses for our institutions?

But we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in a world of increasing demand and limited resources. The reality is that the assistance and support we provide to faculty developing online courses needs to be manageable, scalable, and effective all at the same time.

At Virginia Tech, we recently went through a period of rethinking, redesigning and revising the instructional design and development support we provide to faculty who are developing online, hybrid, and flipped classrooms. The process of review and revision continues – and always will – but the results of our new approach tell us we’re on the right track. I’ve been asked to share the approach so that others can follow us on this path and make it their own.…Read More

Here’s how to meet the needs of online learners

Online learners still stuck with traditional scheduling, funding models

online-learners-demandWhen Title IV funding for higher education began in 1965, colleges and universities never imagined a day when learners would take classes online or create their own academic schedules. Their systems were hardwired for traditional academic terms and students, which start in the fall and end the following spring, and typically assume a full-time schedule.

In this respect, not much has changed since then. Most school calendars and student information systems are still locked on this rigid academic schedule.

Generations later, almost all institutions have added online learning courses to their academic menus to help meet the demands of current and prospective learners. But when you look at most course catalogs, you still see online course offerings that adhere to the traditional academic semesters and financial aid models built into those early systems.…Read More