Thomas Klassen has an opinion piece in the Toronto Star about online classes moving teaching from the stage to the screen. He concludes with:
At the moment, online education is like the internet in its infancy: surely a good thing overall, full of hype, but not well understood and riddled with perplexity. For the sake of the students returning to class, more effort is required to ensure their online learning is as valuable as possible.
I think he make some valid criticisms, primarily having to do with the regulation. He points out that colleges and universities have “few standards for online programs.” In many way I think this is accurate of those who have come the the game late. But some institutions have very good internal regulations to provide quality learning experiences for students. We use a rubric to assess online courses in a faculty driven process to assure that students receive quality courses that are accessible. In fact we require more evidence for our online courses than we do of our face-to-face classes. Both of which are closely reviewed by our state and region accreditation bodies.
I do think he is incorrect in his assertion that the “most glaring” deficit is the lack of research on “which types of online education are most effective” for specific groups of students. There is a vast amount of quality research out there on how to reach various types of learners in the online classroom.
I think a more accurate criticism is that many faculty members do not really understand the underlying issues with student preparedness and success, resulting in not providing the necessary elements to make sure students are successful in their courses. One of the best ways to do this for the institution to assist in this heavy lift, so each faculty member is not require to recreate the wheel in each course. We offer an orientation course to assist in this. It provides learners with tools to assess their preparedness for online, their learning preferences, and their ability to navigate the technology they need to use for online courses.
e-Literate has released a new report about market trends in the learning management system (LMS) space. Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein reviewed LMS usage, implementation, and decommissions within higher education throughout the globe. The note an increase attributable to the retirement of Peason’s LearningStudio LMS. Phil Hill noted that two things had eased migrations: cloud-based solutions and reliability.
Some of the findings included are:
Canvas is the fastest growing of the LMS platforms
Blackboard is the second-most used system globally
Moodle is the dominant LMS outside of North America
D2L Brightspace had the same number of implementations as Canvas in North America
Voluntary migrations are driven by faculty demand for “improved system usability”
the market is being impacted by large migrations by California Community College System to Canvas and University of Phoenix to Blackboard
Michael Feldstein said regarding the overall trend worldwide:
“Although there is a lot of speculation about the future of ed tech today, one thing is certain: There is an oligopoly emerging. We’re seeing smaller, more regionally focused LMSs decrease and a few dominant players emerge globally.”
Georgia Tech has adopted Canvas by Instructure as its new learning management system (lms) for both its global learners both in residence and for online courses. They plan on rolling out a few courses this fall and then a large scale implementation in the Spring 2018 semester. Migration will be completed in 2019. The decision was made after a two-year lms review by the Office of Provost and evaluation by faculty, staff, and students.
Inside Higher Ed is reporting that the Indiana Commission for Higher Education has approved Purdue University’s planned acquisition of Kaplan University. This is the first of three required approvals. Next up, the United States Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accreditation body for both universities.
Inside Higher Ed has just released a new booklet called New Directions In Online Education and announced a corresponding webinar. Information about the booklet is available here. The webinar information is provided below with a link to the registration page.
New Directions in Online Education
Online education is ubiquitous in American higher education. Some colleges deliver most or all of their instruction online. Other colleges – including institutions with traditional-age students and residential campuses – also have embraced online education. And hybrid education mixes face-to-face with online elements.
This webcast will explore some of the ways colleges are delivering instruction to students online, and some of the innovations in learning technologies and pedagogy. Increasingly, developments in online education influence traditional face-to-face instruction, so tracking online education has never been more important.
Join Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman for a lively discussion on these topics Thursday, September 7 at 2:00 PM ET.
Scott Jaschik Editor Inside Higher Ed
Scott Jaschik, Editor, Inside Higher Ed, has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Salon. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Doug Lederman Editor Inside Higher Ed
Doug Lederman, Editor, Inside Higher Ed, has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, the Nieman Foundation Journal, and The Christian Science Monitor. Doug was managing editor of The Chroniclefrom 1999-2003.
Inside Higher Ed has an opinion piece today regarding research about what leads to success in online math classes. The post is by Claire Stuve and addresses research conducted at the University of Toledo. She says that blended and adaptive learning lead to the most successful outcomes.
She provides 6 tips for implementing these findings:
The Babson Distance Education Enrollment Report for 2017 was recently released. This is a new iteration of the report, a series which has been around for a decade. This new endeavor is a collaboration of a number of leaders in the space that have decided to join forces. As the website says:
Realizing that we accomplish more together (and that we liked each other’s data wonk personalities), the three organizations partnered in 2017 to create the Digital Learning Compass. Our goal: To be the definitive source of information on the patterns and trends of U.S. postsecondary distance learning.
The Chronicle of Higher Education updated its 2012 statistics on online education providers. Using information from the Digital Learning Compass: Digital Education Enrollment Report 2017, the chronicle states that over 6 million students, or nearly 30 of college students, took online distance education classes in 2015. Only 5 percent of institutions account for nearly half of these students. In fact, 50 institutions account for nearly 1.5 million students. Private non-profits are going the fastest, while for-profit colleges have declines since 2012.
Top Online Schools 2015 with Growth from 2012
University of Phoenix: 162,003 (-94,343)
Liberty University: 72,519 (2,584)
Western Governors University: 41,369 (29,135)
Southern New Hampshire University: 56,371 (45,085)
Grand Canyon University: 44,006 (10,537
The University of Phoenix’s reduced numbers is in line with its announced plans to “shrink itself” though eliminating most of its associate degrees and closing more is its physical campuses.