Why Instructional Design Must Focus on Learning Outcomes, Not Learning Activities

July 26th, 2016

By Nira Dale, EdSurge

It’s no secret that kids learn better when teachers provide learning activities that keep them engaged. Teachers work tirelessly to plan engaging lessons that capture and keep the interests of their students, thereby making content more accessible. However, teachers continue to feel the daunting pressure to compete for their students’ attention amidst the ever-evolving and rapidly-hanging mass media, social media, and entertainment industry, as these elements do a stellar job of keeping students highly engaged outside of the classroom.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-07-21-why-instructional-design-must-focus-on-learning-outcomes-not-learning-activities

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New Research Debunks Online College Student Myths

July 26th, 2016

by Learninghouse

The report found that online college education has expanded access to students who previously might not have attended; this was primarily due to issues around time and finances. Of note, 50 percent of online college students reported that they “would not,” “probably would not,” or were “unsure” whether they would have pursued higher education had their program not been offered online. The researchers also found that potential students are choosing their schools faster, and limiting the number of institutions they consider, with many selecting the first program that engages with them. The expectation of rapid communication translates to all materials they submit, including those related to financial aid and transfer credit eligibility. The research also found that awareness of alternative pathways — including massive open online courses, micro degrees and bootcamps — is low; 66% of those surveyed reported either “no knowledge” or “minimal knowledge” of these options.

http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/new-research-from-learning-house-aslanian-market-research-debunks-online-college-student-2143911.htm

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Half of Online Students Would Not Opt for Live Courses

July 26th, 2016

By Michael Hart, Campus Technology

New research into the demographics of online college students found 50 percent of them would probably not choose to attend classes on a physical campus. Half of higher education students taking advantage of online instruction said in a survey they either would not or were not sure they would attend live courses even if they were available to them. That’s according to the fifth annual survey by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research on the demographics of students who are pursuing online college degrees. This year’s study, entitled “Online College Students 2016: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences,” found that while online courses were the only option for half of students, 90 percent of students who had taken live on-campus courses said they either prefer online courses or found them just as satisfying.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/07/20/half-of-online-students-would-not-opt-for-live-courses.aspx

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Online courses give students, teachers flexibility

July 25th, 2016

by Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun

More than 900 students from Indian Prairie District 204, Naperville District 203 and Wheaton Warrenville District 200 are participating in the first session of an online learning consortium known as eLo, or Expanding Learning Opportunities. Neuqua Valley junior Diego Hernandez took an American government class in June and still had time to sightsee around Germany, where he was visiting for the month. He was one of 917 students from Indian Prairie District 204, Naperville District 203 and Wheaton Warrenville District 200 participating in the first session of an online learning consortium known as eLo, or Expanding Learning Opportunities. The consortium touts that its courses are taught by teachers in the three districts with the same rigor as students experience in the school year.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-online-school-benefits-st-0720-20160719-story.html

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South Africa exports online courses back to the West

July 25th, 2016

By Bill Hicks, BBC

South Africa is producing online courses to sell back to the US and Europe. Founders, brothers Rob and Sam Paddock, are part of a new breed of academic entrepreneur. The company grew out of a project to help their father, a property lawyer who lectured at the University of Cape Town, to extend his teaching to professionals who had no chance of attending lectures. They were aware of a massive hunger among African professionals for expert, high-quality “up-skilling” – especially in fast-changing fields of IT, commerce, law and accounting. “We talked to UCT [University of Cape Town]. It was hard work convincing them but eventually they agreed to run a trial,” said Rob Paddock. The pilot short courses they developed were marketed under the UCT banner, and provided successful students with a certificate from one of Africa’s top higher education institution. The results for those first students were “so good that the UCT people said, let’s do more”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36796998

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College Research Initiative is Anything but Traditional

July 25th, 2016

by Barnes & Noble College, Education Dive

But after a brief conversation with Mary Ellen Deutsch, the time-crunched second year student, talk soon shifts to family, a house on Chicago’s North Shore and the pressures of the job as an HR executive. It also includes her participation in the part time EMBA program at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “It didn’t require a lot of thought,” says the ‘forty-something’ Deutsch. “I just saw this as a window, as a good time — probably the only time I would be able to get back to college and finish up my education,” she says. Increasingly, students like Deutsch are becoming the norm in a bid for better jobs, better salaries and career advancement. These nontraditional students have little in common with their 18-21 year-old counterparts, as they weave widely differing lifestyles, incomes and age groups with their motivation for further education. As an important emergent group, they are becoming the future of higher education.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/college-research-initiative-is-anything-but-traditional/422790/

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The Best Free (or Cheap) Classes to Continue Your Education Online

July 24th, 2016

By ValuePenguin, Nasdaq

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) — or online instruction for lifelong learners and those without access to higher education domestically or abroad — are still relatively new to the continuing education landscape. And they’re not going away anytime soon. Often free and always relatively cheap (when compared with the cost of typical higher education classes), MOOCs can be a valuable tool for pretty much anyone with Internet access to further their education, specialize within their career (whether you’re a dietitian, say, or a data analyst) or simply pick up a new language or instrument. For the most curious among us, it’s also an inexpensive way to step onto the campus of an Ivy League school, if only for an hour-long webinar.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/the-best-free-or-cheap-classes-to-continue-your-education-online-cm651305

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5 Best Sites That Will Help You Hone Your Skills

July 24th, 2016

by Diana Coker, HR Digest

Do you want to hone your existing skills or pick up some new one? But, do you have time to do so? Are you willing to go back to school to learn those skills? Do you lack some of the skills that you may require once your change careers? If so, you can rely on online courses in order to develop what you lack. Online courses allow you to develop those much-needed skills at your own pace. They are self-regulated, shorter than a typical college semester, and cover all the topics and skills that you can possibly imagine. The hard part of taking online classes is to find online learning sites that are reputed and provide an online class in the field that you are looking for. But the good news is, we have done your part of hard work and have made a list of online sites that offer a variety of free and paid courses. Here are some top online learning sites.

http://www.thehrdigest.com/5-best-sites-online-courses-will-help-hone-skills/

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Why e-learning is better than face-to-face learning

July 24th, 2016

by Ralph LaFontaine, Learning and Development Professional

Many people still tend to see e-learning as a poor alternative to face-to-face learning. This is often based on poor experiences with uninspiring e-learning courses that simply plonk a slide presentation or PDF onto a web page, with little thought for engagement or interaction. The question still pervades whether, despite the emergence of new digital learning technology, e-learning can ever be ‘as good’ as the supposed exemplar of classroom learning. The answer is quite simple: e-learning gives us the opportunity to extend learning beyond borders with more benefits than traditional learning could ever offer.

http://www.ldphub.com/general-news/why-elearning-is-better-than-facetoface-learning-219492.aspx

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How to Make E-Learning So People Really Learn: Q&A With Ethan Edwards

July 23rd, 2016

by ATD

In this Q&A podcast, I speak with Ethan Edwards, who facilitates ATD’s E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate and Advanced E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate. Ethan has been designing online instruction for almost 25 years, beginning with work at the PLATO laboratory at the University of Illinois, continuing through positions at Authorware, Macromedia, Microsoft, and as a consultant with a host of top companies in the United States and abroad. The problem with most e-learning courseware, according to Ethan, is that designers get caught up in the media. Meanwhile, on the end of the spectrum, subject matter experts are applying pressure on designers to “just present content”—a lot of content. Consequently, too much e-learning—and training, for that matter—is presented like a trivia contest. What’s more, Ethan reminds, that “reading or listening to content without purpose is one of the most dull things in the universe.”

https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/Learning-Technologies-Blog/2016/07/How-to-Make-Elearning-so-People-Really-Learn-QA-with-Ethan-Edwards

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How to fix the college lecture

July 23rd, 2016

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A recent study indicates lecture hall-style classes increase the probability of failure by 55%. Lecturing may present a disadvantage to students from low-income high schools or communities, because they may have work schedules beyond the classroom and may learn best with more individualized attention. Lectures are most prevalent in secondary systems serving affluent learners. Some professors are incorporating multimedia into traditional lecture formats to try to reach 21st century students.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/how-to-fix-the-college-lecture/422786/

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Survey: College business officers say higher ed in crisis

July 23rd, 2016

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed found a majority of college business officials agree higher education is in financial crisis, with a bleak outlook for the next 10 years. More than 80% of business officers believe institutions must be more innovative and cost-conscious about academic offerings. More than half of survey respondents indicated faculty do not play a significant role in major budgeting decisions.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/survey-college-business-officers-say-higher-ed-in-crisis/422779/

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Is faster better for postsecondary learning?

July 22nd, 2016

BY MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

Considered major players in the education disruption business, companies like Udacity and EdCast are working with colleges, universities, and entrepreneurial leaders to develop shorter degree pathways (nanodegrees) and shorter online learning experiences. Udacity has partnered with tech giants such as AT&T, Google, Facebook and Amazon to reinvent job training via nanodegrees. Udacity has enrolled more than 11,000 students in its nanodegree programs and graduated 3,000 of those. EdCast’s EdCasting invites educators and entrepreneurs to create mini-MOOCs on its social sharing platform, otherwise known as “Twitter for education.”EdCast also launched its microlearning series, the “10 Minute Insights” series, mobile-enabled live-streamed/live-cast and then archived mini-discussions hosted by Silicon Valley innovators representing a broad range of expertise is various subjects.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/faster-nanodegrees-microlearning/

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Using Websites and Videos to Support Hybrid Programs

July 22nd, 2016

By David Olson, THE Journal

Hybrid courses can provide new, exciting and effective learning experiences. They also provide flexibility in terms of time and place of study. We have hundreds of students visiting the school library each week who benefit from the resources and the help of our staff. One of the first things we did was develop a hybrid course website and hybrid orientation video. The Hybrid Helper website is designed to be a “one stop shop” for students to assess their readiness for hybrid classes along with information and links to develop their independent study skills. Here is a brief description of each of the Hybrid Helpers sections.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/07/13/using-websites-and-videos-to-support-hybrid-programs.aspx

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7 Universities Receive Grants to Implement Adaptive Learning at Scale

July 22nd, 2016

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Seven public research universities are embarking on a three-year project focused on improving undergraduate education through personalized learning and adaptive courseware. Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Georgia State University, Northern Arizona University, Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Mississippi will each receive $515,000 from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) Personalized Learning Consortium (PLC) as part of its Adaptive Courseware Grant program. The program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/07/14/7-universities-receive-grants-to-implement-adaptive-learning-at-scale.aspx

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Mobile in and Out of the Classroom

July 21st, 2016

By Toni Fuhrman, Campus Technology

A history professor at the University of Texas at Arlington is improving class performance by encouraging the use of mobile devices. “Using this technology, if I ask a question and it falls flat, I can usually figure out why,” Cole said. “If I’m getting a lot of flags [signifying confusion], I know I need to go back and find a different way of explaining my point.” To engage students in additional discussion, she sometimes asks a question and looks at the results without revealing the answer. She will then ask students to talk in groups of two or three to try to convince the others of the answer they gave. “This means they talk to each other about the concept, and use their own words to justify a given answer.” In such a scenario, Cole noted, she’s getting students to help her get her point across. “This style of active learning works best for me,” said Cole. Outside of class, with a study guide beside them, students can click on a slide and listen to just that segment of the lecture for review or clarification.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/07/12/mobile-in-and-out-of-the-classroom.aspx

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Can colleges get ahead of the VR curve?

July 21st, 2016

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Virtual reality is a growing tech platform in a number of industries, including tourism, gaming, cinema and education. Inside Higher Ed says that colleges should quickly consider adding VR for disciplines like engineering, or to student resources like library services. Costs for wearable technology and high-powered computers to run VR programs is still prohibitive for many schools outside elite Ivy League and large public institutions.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/can-colleges-get-ahead-of-the-vr-curve/422603/

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Boost Social Media Skills With Online Courses

July 21st, 2016

By Jordan Friedman, US News

Whether students pursue a free versus a paid online course in social media depends on their goals and class format preferences, experts say. “What we’re finding is there’s a large number of people out there with passion and talent but who were trained in non-digital media, or earned their degrees 10 or 15 years ago,” says Michael Weigold, director of online graduate programs at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, which offers an online master’s in social media. That’s where online learning might come into play. There are plenty of options out there for those looking to boost their social media skills.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-07-14/boost-social-media-skills-with-online-courses

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Online classes are growing at local universities and it’s affecting on-campus enrollment

July 20th, 2016

BY ELIZABETH DONALD, Belleville News Democrat

The Carbondale campus of Southern Illinois University saw fewer summer students this year, while the Edwardsville campus saw a slight increase — and school officials are saying online classes had an impact on both. On-campus summer enrollment at SIUC dropped 14.2 percent this year, or 571 fewer students than last. This is 1,334 fewer students than who were enrolled in summer 2014. However, when online classes are factored in, the summer enrollment at SIUC is down 5.1 percent — still a drop, but not as significant. In fact, online class enrollment grew by 8.5 percent this year.

http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article89824447.html

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Five Ways to Help Students Succeed in the Online Classroom

July 20th, 2016

By: Amy Hankins, Faculty Focus

More and more students are flocking to the online classroom for the convenience of earning college credits from the comfort of their home. However, many of these students are ill-prepared for the dedication and discipline needed to be successful in the online environment. Oftentimes students have misconceptions concerning the rigor of online courses, and they often underestimate the amount of time and discipline necessary to complete assignments, discussions, quizzes, and projects. Therefore, it is important for the instructor to set the tone of the course to help students succeed. So how do you help your students succeed in the online classroom?

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/five-ways-help-students-succeed-online-classroom/

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Learning Out Loud: Make Online Courses Meaningful and Accessible

July 20th, 2016

By Michelle Pacansky-Brock, EdSurge

Developing critical listening and speaking skills is an essential element of a student’s higher-education experience. However, verbally presenting one’s ideas and listening to contributions made by student peers are not typical experiences for online students, as most activities in online classes consist of reading and writing. As online course offerings increase, institutions have an obligation to ensure faculty are empowered to teach with tools that enable students to learn out loud. These tools and the content created with them must be accessible to all learners, including those who are hard of hearing and have vision impairments.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-07-15-learning-out-loud-make-online-courses-meaningful-and-accessible

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