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.
The full Chronicle story is here.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels announced that Purdue would acquire Kaplan University. That announcement has drawn the ire of Purdue faculty, who found out about the acquisition when the announcement was made. Obviously the negotiations to buy Kaplan had to be done in private as Kaplan’s owner is a publicly traded company. However, this has raised shared governance issues that could draw scrutiny from Purdue’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission.
That story is here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/05/05/purdue-faculty-votes-against-kaplan-process
Other stories are here:
This is a useful infographic on online discussion board netiquette by Touro College’s Online Education Department.
Carl Straumsheim has an interesting piece over at InsideHigherEd.com about Blackboards newest release “Ultra” and its strategy to support its legacy app as well. The real question comes down to wether or not Blackboard can transition to the cloud and still support non-cloud hosted versions. He quotes Glenda Morgan, a research at Gartner that specializes in educational technology. She said blackboard “is trying to do too many things and not disappoint many people.” She continued:
Down the road that means a fragmented and unsustainable model. . . . They need to figure out what the strategy is and just be really clear about it, and then if they end up changing it, be really hones about it.
The article provides a good overview of the growth of Instructure’s Canvas product and Blackboard attempt to upgrade itself and move past some missteps in recent years.
The full article is here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/04/25/analysts-colleges-question-blackboards-all-above-strategy
Shifts in Video and LMS Adoption: Impact on Student Outcomes
Although the LMS and video capture have been nearly ubiquitous for a decade, faculty use is only now beginning to accelerate, as cloud-based tools create opportunities to better engage students and experiment with new, technology-enabled pedagogical models.
How can next generation lecture capture tools enable faculty to engage students before, during – and after class? Can data streams from LMS and lecture tools combine to provide faculty with newfound insights into student behavior? Will shifts in LMS and video capture adoption create opportunities for entirely new categories of instructional technology to emerge? Continue reading
Dearmbox Learning has released a white paper called Blended Learning Innovations: 10 Major Trends. It looks at the dominant trends in the moving target that is blended learning.
A major influence that is driving this change results from acknowledging the reality of the way we live today. We can no longer ignore the ubiquity of technology—we must to welcome it into our classrooms and learning activities. To inspire engagement, we need to keep pace with students who operate in an increasingly mobile world where information and communication are accessed 24/7 through smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
That is combined with the need to address the learning styles, backgrounds, and differing needs of students in classrooms with 30 or more students in them. That includes moving from a lecture centered model combined with memorization and repetition to a learner-centered model with “active learning strategies and learning guidance.”
The blended learning trends covered in the white paper are:
- The deeply student-centered learning experience
- Soaring numbers of digital learners
- Supporting standards and higher-order thinking skills
- Realizing benefits for both teachers and students
- Data-driven instruction to personalize learning
- Personalized learning accompanied by a lean, blended, iterative approach
- Productive gamification
- The mobile world is where learners live now
- BYOD is here and key to active three-screen days
- More broadband, please!
For a more in-depth look into these trends, read DreamBox Learning full report here.
George Veletsianos resent published a blog post about the use of Twitter in MOOCs. The post was based on a republished article on that subject. The study employed data mining to aggregate data from 116 MOOS “with course-dedicated hashtag” on Twitter. His conclusion is thus:
This research used a large-scale data set to investigate participation on course-dedicated hashtags. It examined the participation patterns of hashtag participants, the types of users posting to those hashtags, the types of tweets that were posted, and the variation in types of posted tweets across users. While popular narratives suggest that social media provide a space for enhancing learner participation, this study provides
little evidence to support these claims in the context of Twitter as an adjunct to MOOCs, finding that an active minority of users contributed the preponderance of messages posted to Twitter hashtags and that learners make up only about 45% of users. Nor do these findings reveal substantive evidence of learners contributing to multiple hashtags, which may suggest that learners did not find Twitter to be a useful space that provided added value or responded to their needs. Ultimately, these results demonstrate the need for greater intentionality in integrating social media into MOOCs.
The pre-published version of this article is available here: http://www.veletsianos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/veletsianos_twitter_in_MOOCs.pdf
Thomas Cavanagh, “Online Learning: The New Strategic Imperative,” evolllution.com, 20 January 2017.
Online Learning: The New Strategic Imperative