Archive for January, 2011

Online learning enrollment at universities on the rise

Monday, January 31st, 2011

By Renee Busby, Alabama Press-Register

There’s one advantage to taking online college courses. You can be in a foxhole in the middle of Iraq taking a physiology test or at home in bed wearing pajamas while chatting with a professor. That explains the sound of gunfire retired professor Chuck Robinson heard during an online class he taught at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. While teaching students in a war zone isn’t the norm, it’s an example of how online instruction is available to students no matter where they are or the time of day. “It doesn’t make sense that someone who lives 10 miles from the Canadian border needs to come to Alabama to hear me lecture,” said Robinson’s wife, Cheryl Robinson, a clinical associate professor in USA’s College of Nursing. Area professors say online instruction, especially for non-traditional students who can’t always go to a brick and mortar school, is steadily increasing.

http://blog.al.com/living-press-register/2011/01/online_enrollment_at_universit.html

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SUNY Canton Winterterm’s Record Enrollment Grows 46 Percent

Monday, January 31st, 2011

by SUNY Canton

Nearly 1200 students from 204 colleges and universities spent their winter break taking a class during SUNY Canton’s Winterterm session. Winterterm enrollment increased more than 46 percent from 2009-2010 and was more than seven times as large as the 160 students who enrolled in the first Winterterm session five years ago. The session was the largest in the College’s history. “Our Winterterm session has experienced exceptional growth because we offer a wide variety of courses that students need and provide them with the flexibility of offering them online,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “Winterterm has a reputation for its offerings and the quality of the faculty teaching that extends well beyond the North Country and New York State.”

http://readme.readmedia.com/SUNY-Canton-Winterterms-Record-Enrollment-Grows-46-Percent/1866423

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Online learning a growing trend

Monday, January 31st, 2011

By DANIEL P. BADER, Utica (NY) Observer-Dispatch

Last fall, 5.6 million college students nationwide took at least one class online, according to the Sloan Consortium, a nonprofit organization that seeks to integrate online education into mainstream education. And it’s growing. Sloan reports that online enrollment grew more than 20 percent in 2009. “Today, as of (the fall semester), 35 to 38 percent of our entire student body take one online course per semester,” said Linda Lamb, associate dean of continuing education at HCCC. “The national average is about 30 percent, so we’re on the high end of that.” There are 18 associate degrees and three certificates available to student who never set foot on campus.

http://www.uticaod.com/topstories/x104376101/Online-classes-a-growing-trend

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Teachers watch to see how laptop use affects learning

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

By Amy Hetzner, Journal Sentinel

It was awhile before Pewaukee High School English teacher Christina LeDonne knew that one of her students had misplaced his paperback copy of “Lord of the Flies” for a school assignment. Armed with one of the laptops that the Pewaukee School District has given to every student in seventh through 10th grade this school year, the student tracked down an online version of the classic novel and read along with the rest of the class without skipping a beat. Such incidents have only encouraged the view among school leaders and teachers – amazed by the continued growth of available, and even free, resources on the Web – that traditional print materials have a limited life expectancy in schools.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/113828984.html

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Online American courses becoming popular in China

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

by the Times of India

Online courses from top US universities are becoming popular among young Chinese who cannot afford to go overseas to study but still want to learn. According to the China Daily, the students can now go online for free courses from top American varsities on the Chinese website 163.com. The open courses range from social science to business management and most of the students are white-collar workers and college students. “The online courses are excellent, professors are humorous, topics are interesting and the delivery is fun,” said office worker Guo Lei, who got in the habit of watching the online courses during her lunch hour.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/news/internet/Online-American-courses-becoming-popular-in-China/articleshow/7291106.cms

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Thriving in a colder and more challenging climate

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

by ALT-C

In 2011, education systems throughout the world are attempting to do more, better, and often with less. As the political, economic, social, agency and technological landscapes change, it is tempting for people in the learning technology community simply to “go on with vigour, hoping for the best”*. But this would be to miss a major opportunity. Innovation is strongly stimulated by crises and pressures of all kinds. Our challenges are to:

  • analyse and plan, and create and marshal evidence;
  • demonstrate the benefits of astute deployment of technology to support learning;
  • listen to and involve learners, teachers, and institutional leaders; draw on know-how and practice internationally, from across and outside our individual fields;
  • take an institutional approach, whilst focusing on openness and frugality.

Time, the social tide, the expectations of learners, and economic pressure at organisational level will themselves be a driving force for innovation. The scope for people in our community to make a difference is great.

The 18th international conference of the Association for Learning Technology will be held at the University of Leeds, UK, 6-8 September 2011.  altc2011 / #altc2011

http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2011/

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Online Learning: Six predictions for education in 2011

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

By MICHAEL HORN, Disrupting Education – Forbes

As 2011 dawns, expect to see the rate of innovation in education increase. The weak economy that has bogged down the United States for the past two years will continue to lift the online learning innovations to new heights in both K-12 and postsecondary education. Here are six trends and predictions to watch for in the New Year.

http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelhorn/2011/01/13/six-predictions-for-education-in-2011/?boxes=Homepagechannels

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Online learning: Degrees offered for military personnel

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

by Hailey Grace Allen, the Crimson White (Univ. of Alabama)

The University of Alabama’s College of Continuing Studies offers military personnel the option to receive an accredited degree online. The goal of the online degree program is to assist men and women serving in the military by providing flexible and highly personalized options for completing their degree. The program offers its students the option to take online classes, videoconference classes and evening and weekend classes. “The University became a participating institution with the e-ArmyU program in 2003,” said Nina Smith, the program manager for Student Services Academic Outreach and the GoArmyEd program. “E-ArmyU provides select online degree programs to soldiers who are in active duty with the army. ”

http://www.cw.ua.edu/2011/01/14/online-degrees-offered-for-military-personnel/

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Eisenhower Elementary School to receive award for online learning program

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

By Phyllis Zorn, Enid News and Eagle

An online learning program has proven so successful for students at Eisenhower Elementary School the school will receive an award today. The web-based program Study Island is designed to give students practice on the skills they learn in the classroom. Eisenhower Principal Polly Maxwell said the Study Island program, funded by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, is a great tool that allows parents to engage with their children’s study as well, since students can access it from home.

http://enidnews.com/localnews/x530790134/Eisenhower-Elementary-School-to-receive-award-for-online-learning-program

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PreK-12 Dominates Growth in Online Learning with 16.8% Growth Rate

Friday, January 28th, 2011

By David Nagel, THE Journal

Driven in part by rapid growth in online education, by 2015, preK-12 academic institutions in the United States will spend $4.9 billion on “self-paced” electronic learning products and services, according to a new report released this week by research firm Ambient Insight. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 16.8 percent from 2010 spending levels, outpacing every other segment, including higher education and healthcare.  The report, “The US Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis,” encompasses a category of electronic learning that Ambient Insight refers to as “self-paced,” which includes learning management, classroom management, and learning content management systems, along with student information systems and hosted learning platforms, among others. This category does not include mobile learning, gaming, or several other major e-learning categories. (Ambient Insight’s detailed methodology and category definitions can be found here.)

http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/01/20/prek12-dominates-growth-in-e-learning.aspx

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Students ‘Can Actually Have Fun’ With Math Online Learning

Friday, January 28th, 2011

by Cristel Mohrman, Buffalo Grove Patch

A Prairie Elementary School student stood in front of a laptop computer and called a friendly greeting to a familiar face on the screen. But the boys had a chance to get reacquainted last month when they saw each other through video conferencing software that let them talk “live” from their respective schools. The brief video meeting followed four weeks of online interaction between fifth-graders who are enrolled in accelerated math programs at the two schools.  For a month, the 20 students — 10 from each school — tackled math problems online, where they blogged their responses and interacted with their classmates on a secure site.

http://buffalogrove.patch.com/articles/students-can-actually-have-fun-with-online-math-assignments

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Students keep up with courses via online learning ‘remote school’

Friday, January 28th, 2011

By Elizabeth Burlingame, Gainsville Times

A Gainesville preparatory school is proving snow days could become a thing of the past. Lakeview Academy teachers piloted “remote school” Wednesday, where students did classwork from home on a computer. “We just came off a long holiday break and had three great days of school, but now the ice has come and we can’t get to school,” Berry said. “We don’t want to interrupt that process, and this will allow us to pick up where we were last week.” The remote school was created in 2009, in case the school needed to close due to an influenza outbreak.

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/archives/44277/

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Winona State University offers Social Media for Business Certificate through Online Learning

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

By Winona360

Starting in spring 2011 Winona State University will offer a new, non-credit Social Media for Business certificate. Online courses will teach students the principles of how to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to communicate across networks. Students will learn practical, how-to techniques to integrate social media into an organization or business. Social media is the new ‘must have’ marketing tool for business organizations, said Jennifer Selke, course instructor and nationally-known expert in social media.

http://winona360.winona.edu/winona360/article/wsu-offers-social-media-business-certificate

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Idaho to Grow Class Sizes, Eliminate Tenure, Give Out Laptops and Require Online Learning

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

by George Prentice, Boise Weekly

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna has unleashed a sonic boom of a plan to redefine classrooms across the Gem State. If the superintendent has his way, teacher tenure will be gutted, classroom sizes will increase, middle-schoolers will be given new laptops and students will be required to take online courses.

http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2011/01/12/luna-grow-class-sizes-eliminate-tenure-give-out-laptops

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The Pros and Cons of Earning an Associate Degree via Online Learning

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

by Real Online Degrees

For many people, earning an associate degree online is a feasible option. For one, if your goal is to get a bachelor’s degree, you can save several thousand dollars by shopping around and finding the most cost-effective associate’s degree. Just make sure that the credits will transfer to a bachelor’s degree in your major field of study. You can get the answer to this question by speaking to the transfer coordinator at the college where you plan to earn your associate’s degree. If you know where you plan to transfer, you should talk to the transfer coordinator at that school, as well. Earning a college degree online is a great option if you’re working a job or have a family at home. The flexibility of online learning allows you to schedule your studies at a time that fits your schedule, which means you can be fully rested and study when you’re at your peak performance time during the day.

http://www.realonlinedegrees.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-earning-an-associate-degree-online-part-i_2011-01-12/

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Teaching scholarly research skills to undergraduates via online game

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

by PhysOrg

Most undergraduates enter college with limited experience in scholarly research. Academic libraries may be unfamiliar to them and library databases unknown territory. Although 95 percent of 18-29 year olds use the Internet, according to a Pew Internet survey from May 2010, their knowledge of information resources often doesn’t extend much beyond Google and Wikipedia. A team of researchers headed by professor Karen Markey and associate professor Victor Rosenberg at the University of Michigan’s School of Information set out to address this issue by developing a game that teaches university-level scholarly research skills. Bibliobouts is an online, social activity that teaches players the skills they need to research academic papers. The game is generating enthusiasm among both students and educators and in 2010 won its developers the University of Michigan Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Award. The latest version of the game has just been released for classroom use for winter 2011 and fall 2011.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-scholarly-skills-undergraduates-online-game.html

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The Impact of Design and Aesthetics on Usability, Credibility, and Learning in an Online Environment

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

by Alicia David & Peyton Glore, OJDLA

This article surveys research in the areas of aesthetics and design, usability, visual aesthetics in education, and recent statistics related to online education. The focus of the article is on defining the role of visual content and aesthetics in the user interface and exploring what importance aesthetics and visual content have to education. Research has demonstrated that aesthetics plays an important role in shaping user responses to products and websites. Users also draw on aesthetic factors to judge usability and credibility. In the technology setting of online classes, it is therefore important for educational institutions and faculty to consider the educational function of visual content and the aesthetic judgments that are being made by students. Including visual content and applying aesthetic standards during online course development can ultimately improve not only the visual appearance of course content but can also improve how students react to and interact with those courses.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter134/david_glore134.html

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Online Learning: Finding Ways to Be Social in Virtual Schools

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

by Tina Barseghian, Mind Shift

Virtual schools have lots of advantages — ease of access, students learning at their own pace, flexibility with timing, extending education to hard-to-reach rural communities. But as someone who thrives on collaboration and working off the energy of others, I often wonder if it’s too much a solitary experience for learners. How will important social skills be learned when a student is confined to a computer at home?

http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/01/finding-ways-to-be-social-in-virtual-schools/

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Comparing Student Learning Outcomes in Face-To-Face and Online Course Delivery

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Stephen Sussman & Lee Dutter, OJLA

Since the advent of fully online delivery of college-level coursework, a number of issues has preoccupied administrators, educators, and researchers with regard to student learning outcomes or performance vis-à-vis face-to-face delivery. The present study does not seek to demonstrate or to discover which mode of delivery is “superior” or “inferior” to the other. Rather, through a quantitative analysis of performance indicators, it seeks to highlight the differences and similarities in student learning outcomes between the two modes of delivery for an undergraduate, social science course, which focuses on public policy and administration. Thus, primarily through the analysis of real-time course data, which covers four academic years from 2005 to 2009, the study aims to provide a better understanding of the differences and similarities between these delivery modes, as far as the issues of concern to administrators, educators, and researchers are concerned.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter134/sussman_dutter134.html

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Enhancing Online Education through Instructor Skill Development in Higher Education

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

by Tamara Roman, Kathleen Kelsey & Hong Lin; JDLA

Rapid growth of online education and the perceived difference between online and face-to-face instruction has necessitated training and support for instructors transitioning to online delivery. The research reported here resulted from an evaluation of a six-week fully online training program, Preparing Online Instructors (POI), to determine what constitutes an effective online training program. It was found that online training programs should emphasize both technological and pedagogical skill development, evaluate participants’ training needs prior to the training, and provide ongoing resources and support mechanisms after the training. The findings from the study inform administrators and professional development providers on how to plan and implement an instructor-training program to enhance online teaching skills.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter134/roman_kelsey134.html

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Online Learning: The Web of Babel

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed

Some adventurous professors have used Twitter as a teaching tool for at least a few years. At a presentation at Educause in 2009, W. Gardner Campbell, director of the academy of teaching and learning at Baylor University, extolled the virtues of allowing students to pose questions to the professor and each other — an important part of the thinking and learning process — without having to raise their hands to do so immediately and aloud. And in November, a group of professors published a scientific paper suggesting that bringing Twitter into the learning process might boost student engagement and performance. The relationship between online learning and language instruction has a more contentious history than most.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/01/11/college_professors_use_social_media_such_as_twitter_and_itunes_to_teach_students_foreign_language

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