Online Learning Update

May 29, 2020

Sen. Markey Wants U.S. Department of Education To Allow Colleges To Continue Distance Learning For 2020-21 Year

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Framingham Source
Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) today, may 15, called on the U.S. Department of Education to continue flexibility for colleges and universities to implementing distance education programs during the coronavirus pandemic, while also calling on the agency to require institutions to report information about their transitions to distance education. In response to the public health emergency, institutions of higher education have been forced to close their doors, send students home, and transition for the first time to comprehensive online learning.

https://framinghamsource.com/index.php/2020/05/15/sen-markey-wants-u-s-department-of-education-to-allow-colleges-to-continue-distance-learning-for-2020-21-year/

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How has the pandemic affected college instructors’ view of online learning?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
Before the coronavirus pandemic forced colleges to conduct most of their classes virtually, six in 10 instructors had taught a distance or hybrid course, according to a small survey from Primary Research Group (PRG) emailed to Education Dive.  Out of 73 instructors from institutions worldwide, just 22% said their experience so far with online instruction has made them think of it “very or extremely highly” as an educational tool that universities can use after the pandemic subsides. Another 40% view it “not so highly” or “not at all highly.” While the survey highlights that instructors are struggling with the transition online, colleges may have to continue remote instruction into the fall term.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-has-the-pandemic-affected-college-instructors-view-of-online-learning/578071/

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Universities Are Freezing Tenure Clocks. What Will That Mean for Junior Faculty of Color?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

Sara Weissman, Diverse Education

More than 240 universities are offering junior faculty extensions on their tenure clocks to ease the pressure as the coronavirus upends their research and routines. Dr. Delia Fernandez says it’s “one of the most basic things universities can do to support their junior faculty … because the idea of research productivity, or any productivity at this time, is kind of absurd,” she said. But some faculty are concerned about whether extensions alone account for academia’s disparities.

https://diverseeducation.com/article/175846/

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May 28, 2020

How COVID Changed Our Classrooms? A Self-Experiment Of Online Teaching.

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Lutz Finger, Forbes

COVID has changed our classrooms. But going from a traditional classroom towards online distance learning doesn’t happen overnight and there is a lot to learn! Digital tools and data started to help me to create an engaging learning environment. In some ways, this new environment has challenged me to use data more effectively to ensure higher levels of engagement.  There will be a time after this crisis and many teachers like me will have experimented with many new methods. Learning won’t be the same, it will be better.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lutzfinger/2020/05/14/how-covid-changed-our-classrooms-a-self-experiment-of-online-teaching/#34dd3b512c5d

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Classroom of the Future: The Rise of Online Learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Vivian Wagner, e-Commerce Times

Online education is evolving to become increasingly mobile, in order to satisfy the needs both of students and instructors. “Our learners increasingly want to access training on their own terms, at their own best times,” said Neovation’s Belhassen. “Mobile-first training allows you to take your daily training on your phone during your commute, before or after your shift, at any time convenient for you. Mobile devices can deliver all the rich media we have come to expect in traditional long-form training — videos, audio-clips, etc.,” he noted.

https://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/86666.html

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Six stories of six weeks of virtual learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Melanie Lefkowitz, Cornell Chronicle

Spring 2020 was a semester like no other. Over the course of a few weeks, thousands of classes – lectures and seminars, laboratory and performance courses, capstone projects and veterinary clinics – transitioned entirely online. Instructors navigated technical and logistical difficulties, as well as the shifting realities of a global pandemic. But amid the challenges, students and faculty found opportunities for innovation, connection and intellectual growth. Here are snapshots of six courses that took creative approaches to their online formats.

https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2020/05/six-stories-six-weeks-virtual-learning

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May 27, 2020

Johns Hopkins Offers Free COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

Dana Brownlee, Forbes

Taught by Johns Hopkins scientist Emily Gurley, PhD, MPH, COVID-19 Contact Tracing is an introductory level course that equips learners with the training that may be required to become a contact tracer amid this pandemic. Johns Hopkins’ site explains, “The new Coursera class, COVID-19 Contact Tracing, teaches the basics of interviewing people diagnosed with the virus, identifying their close contacts who might have been exposed, and providing them guidance for self-quarantine for two weeks.” The course syllabus outlines six modules that are clearly focused on preparing learners to both understand the disease and effectively perform the contact tracing necessary to fight against it.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danabrownlee/2020/05/13/johns-hopkins-offers-free-contact-tracing-training/#4c100ddb7a48

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The pandemic is emptying call centers. AI chatbots are swooping in

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review

Covid-19 is accelerating job losses in an industry that was already automating work at a rapid pace. As the coronavirus crisis has dragged on, understaffed government agencies, grocery stores, and financial services have all scrambled to set up similar systems for handling a new influx of calls. IBM saw a 40% increase in traffic to Watson Assistant from February to April of this year. In April, Google also launched the Rapid Response Virtual Agent, a special version of its Contact Center AI, and lowered the price of its service in response to client demand.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/05/14/1001716/ai-chatbots-take-call-center-jobs-during-coronavirus-pandemic/

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President Speaks: Government relief won’t be enough for higher ed. ‘We must save ourselves’

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

Michael Alexander, Education Dive

The big question outstanding is whether higher education institutions will band together to save our system of higher education, in the same way that members of our communities have rallied to withstand the crisis for the benefit of students. Will leaders and trustees put aside their standard ways of doing business, and their emotional attachments to tradition and identity, to invent new ways of conducting business, to accept new ways of collaborating or consolidating, and to be creative and ingenious in altering curricula and modes of delivery in order to lower costs in a big way?

https://www.educationdive.com/news/president-speaks-government-relief-wont-be-enough-for-higher-ed-we-must-1/577939/

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May 26, 2020

The shift to online learning and skills training shows promising trends and troubling signs

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Jeannette Sanchez, International Labour Organization

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an abrupt transition to distance education, training and e-learning. The crisis has resulted in massive shifts to online platforms and tools for the continued delivery of learning and skills development, which have shown both promising trends and troubling signs. Among those signs, the evidence that, while much is being made of digital learning making access more equitable, access to online platforms doesn’t always result in equal quality learning. Women, for example, are being disproportionately cut off from distance learning due to lack of childcare or home help during the pandemic.

https://iloblog.org/2020/05/12/the-shift-to-online-learning-and-skills-training-shows-promising-trends-and-troubling-signs/

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Here is the next wave of online learning for higher education

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Lark Park, CalMatters

A new frontier of online learning means redoubling efforts to address inequities. It means addressing the challenges not only posed by traditional classes, but by hands-on components like labs or education paths such as nursing or career tech. And it means finding ways for faculty to meaningfully connect online with students and each other in these difficult, isolating times.

https://calmatters.org/commentary/here-is-the-next-wave-of-online-learning-for-higher-education/

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Another pandemic-related threat to universities: falling numbers of graduate students

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

MATT KRUPNICK, Hechinger Report

Even before the new threats, some schools’ graduate enrollment — and revenue — was dropping.  Until recently, graduate students had generally remained a bright spot in higher education, continuing to show up at colleges and universities and helping institutions balance their books even as undergraduate enrollment dramatically declined. But even before the pandemic, there were signs that the once-reliable flow of graduate students and the money they bring with them was beginning to slow. And now, when that money may be needed most, school leaders and researchers fear that these numbers could plummet.

https://hechingerreport.org/another-worry-for-colleges-and-universities-falling-numbers-of-graduate-students/

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May 25, 2020

Fall Scenario #13: A HyFlex Model

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:12 am

Edward J. Maloney and Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed
If there was one scenario — besides being back to normal or fully remote in the fall — that we hear more about than others, it would be a HyFlex Model. This may be because a hybrid or high-flexibility approach is relatively easy to envision. In a HyFlex course, courses are delivered both in person and online at the same time by the same faculty member. Students can then choose for each and every class meeting whether to show up for class in person or to join it online. The underlying design ethos behind the HyFlex Model is flexibility and student choice.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/fall-scenario-13-hyflex-model

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How is Gen Z impacted by online learning?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

BY LESLIE REED, eCampus News

University of Nebraska–Lincoln broadcasting professor Barney McCoy has studied this age group as part of his ongoing national research on digital distractions in the classroom. As education in America makes a historic technology shift in the face of COVID-19, instructors may face some unexpected challenges and pleasant surprises with today’s college students. His third survey of student use of digital devices in college classrooms was published April 15 in the Journal of Media Education. His survey of more than 1,000 students in 2018 and 2019 found a decrease in the amount of time and number of times Gen Z students used smartphones and other devices for non-class purposes during the school day.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2020/05/01/how-is-gen-z-impacted-by-online-learning/

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Using 360 Virtual Reality to Make Experiential Learning Accessible to All

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

Lynn Long, Gillian Dabrowski and Anne Grant, EDUCAUSE

In March 2019, it became apparent that there was growing interest among faculty and staff on our campus in using virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) to enhance teaching and learning. Consequently, last May, the VR/AR Community of Practice was born. One of the first potential projects the group discussed was in response to an accessibility concern. Typically, students who are enrolled in ENVS200, a second-year field ecology course, are required to attend a field trip that involves a 1.5 km hike over uneven terrain. We needed to provide alternatives for those who could not perform this physical activity.

https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2020/4/using-360-virtual-reality-to-make-experiential-learning-accessible-to-all

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May 24, 2020

You’re graduating in a pandemic. What’s next?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Amanda Sloat, Brookings Institute
Graduation is always an anxious time for young people on the threshold of the “real world,” but COVID-19 has created new uncertainties. For Generation Z, students’ final semesters are not exactly going as planned. Rather than celebrating with friends, many are worrying about finding a job while living in their childhood bedrooms. In recent years, I held career seminars for students across the country (with those tips published here). During this era of social distancing, I’ve moved these discussions online and adapted my advice.

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/youre-graduating-in-a-pandemic-whats-next/

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Forever changed: SIUE, Lewis and Clark Community College embrace remote learning lessons

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

David Blanchette, Alton Evening Telegraph

Sonderegger said SIUE decided early during the pandemic to make a strong commitment to uphold the learning objectives and pace of the school’s courses once the switch was made to virtual learning. The goal was to avoid disrupting the student-teacher bond, the application of skills and the course content. “I personally stuck to my course design and my syllabus while revising a few assignments to fit an online model,” Sonderegger said.

https://www.thetelegraph.com/news/article/Forever-changed-SIUE-Lewis-and-Clark-Community-15259074.php

 

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How Covid-19 is de-mystifying online learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

IOL

For the past few decades, it has been noted that one of the biggest problems of education in the age of disruption is that it has stubbornly resisted being disrupted. The danger of clinging to traditional paradigms is the continuously producing graduates who are not well-enough equipped to thrive in the times of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), because they haven’t had sufficient opportunity and guidance to develop critical 21st Century skills.

https://www.iol.co.za/news/partnered/how-covid-19-is-de-mystifying-online-learning-47668086

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May 23, 2020

3 reasons to embrace the shift to virtual learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

RENATO PROFICO, eCampus News

While a sudden move to virtual learning somewhat surprised students and faculty, the shift can bring about some unexpected benefits. The good news is that virtual learning can be just as informative, engaging, and impactful as physical learning. The key to success will come down to acknowledging the need for change and a willingness to adopt new processes and tools that could make remote learning less stressful and more impactful. Change is never easy, and I completely understand that. For that reason, I wanted to share a few examples of how virtual learning can be a good thing during these uncertain times.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2020/05/07/3-reasons-to-embrace-the-shift-to-virtual-learning/

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Online learning doesn’t give college student same experience

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

Union-Bulletin Editorial Board

The parent of a student attending George Washington University in the nation’s capital — where tuition for a single semester ranges between $25,875 and $29,275 — has filed a lawsuit against the school claiming the online education his daughter is getting is not worth what is being paid to the school. The parent, Mark Shaffer of Pennsylvania, is not alone in feeling this way. His lawsuit filed last week is the latest in a growing class of litigation against colleges and universities over their spring tuition rates, The Washington Post reported.

https://www.union-bulletin.com/opinion/editorials/online-learning-doesnt-give-college-student-same-experience/article_be2cf879-0ef9-509f-bff1-473da4f0c12c.html

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The Inexorable Logic of Distance Learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

James A. Bacon, Bacon’s Rebellion

bDistance learning was already on the rise at Virginia higher-ed institutions before the COVID-19 epidemic prompted college administrators to send students home and complete their classes online. Many faculty and administrators are hoping that they can revert to the status quo of good o’d fashioned face-to-face classes when the epidemic subsides. But will normalcy be restored? Or will the flirtation with online classes accelerate the spread of distance education?

https://www.baconsrebellion.com/wp/the-inexorable-logic-of-distance-learning/

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