Podcast: Tom Vander Ark Discusses How Online Learning Is Shaping the Educational Landscape (10:33)

Vander Ark talks about some recent trends and his preferences for online learning.  He tends toward blended learning for most students.

The educational landscape is continually being changed by new innovations in online learning.  Online learning solutions provide access to high-quality course materials, which can be administrated in a cost-effective manner.

For school districts looking to embrace online learning, this new approach to learning also provides a method for offering blended classes and is ideal for advanced courses in STEM and foreign languages.  And it is a great way to leverage talented teachers, and to provide new career options for many of your teachers.

These are some of the key insights from a recent podcast interview with Tom Vander Ark, who is the author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World.

As an advocate for innovations that customize and motivate learning and extend access, Tom is also the CEO of Getting Smart, a learning advocacy firm and is a partner in Learn Capital, an education venture capital firm investing in education technology startups.

Infographic: How Do Employers View Online Degrees?

Graphic by Drexel.com

Story by EdTechMagazine.com

Online learning has been growing rapidly over the past 10 years. Students have flocked to online universities and massive open online courses (MOOCs) because they want to make themselves more appealing to potential employers. Is it working?

Time magazine explored this issue in an effort to understand whether online learning is actually helping students get jobs and employers find qualified employees. While employers are somewhat skeptical about online learning, attitudes are shifting as more students look to the web for a degree.

Full EdTechMagazine.com post is here.

Faculty Focus — Tips for Online Instructors: Managing Files, Feedback, and Workload

Eileen F. Schiffer has a useful article over at Faculty Focus about time and workload management in the online classroom.  Schiffer points out:

 Establishing a regular presence in the online classroom, grading assignments and discussions, and maintaining records and notes from term to term are all time consuming – but essential – tasks. Learning to take care of the details of online teaching more efficiently makes it possible to be more effective in your teaching.


She provides some useful insight into managing offline content (but used to support online courses), the use of rubrics, and providing student feedback.

Original post at Faculty Focus


Regulating Online Postsecondary Education: State Issues and Options

The National Governors Association (NGA) has recently released an issue brief on the regulation of distance learning.  In Regulating Online Postsecondary Education: State Issues and Options, the NGA provide some background and the current “State of the States” regarding state regulation of online and hybrid programs.  After giving a overview of recent developments, the brief provides some guidance for states as they move forward:

As states consider a number of options for changing their authorization policies and practices for online postsec- ondary programs, governors should consider requesting a review of existing laws and regulations in this area. The review would be designed to identify opportunities for simplifying and streamlining the process and to explore the possibility of joining an interstate reciprocity agreement for authorization. The review should address questions that include the following:

Continue reading “Regulating Online Postsecondary Education: State Issues and Options”

SoftChalk Webinar: Preparing Faculty of all Technology Levels to Teach Online – Blended – Hybrid

From the webinar site:

Canisius College, a Jesuit institution in Buffalo, NY, has moved rapidly to build online programs, tripling the number in the last three years. To address this rapid growth, the college created and implemented a comprehensive and innovative collection of training offerings that helps connect faculty to the values and mission of their institution as well as addressing faculty members’ prior experiences with online teaching. Using Palloff and Pratt’s Five Phases of Online Faculty Development to guide the professional development offerings, the Plan is made up of three core workshops (novice, intermediate, and advanced), online course review tool, the Griff Guide to Teaching Online, resources for review and assessment, and professional development opportunities. Continue reading “SoftChalk Webinar: Preparing Faculty of all Technology Levels to Teach Online – Blended – Hybrid”

TED: What We’re Learning From Online Education

Daphne Koller is a professor at Stanford University.  She is co-founder, with Andrew Ng, of Coursera, which is one of the emerging leaders in massively open online courses (MOOCs).  Coursera currently offers classes from 16 top colleges. This video addresses what they are learning from this new online modality.  The implications on student learning clearly have applicability to traditional online and supplemental courses as well.

Among the topics she addresses are active learning, student engagement, Bloom’s Taxonomy, self and peer assessment, personalized feedback, life-long learning, and integration of multimedia.

The scholarship and references she cites include (in order of appearance):

Friedman, Thomas.  “Come the Revolution,” New York Times (May 15, 2012).  Available online here.

Karpicke, Jeffrey D., and Janell R. Blunt.  “Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping,” Science 2011.  Available online here.

Sadler, Phillip M., and Eddie Good, “The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning, Educational Assessment, 11, (1): 1-31.   More information here.

Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13, n. 6 (1984): 4-16.  Available online here.

Deslauriers, Louis,  Ellen Schelew, and Carl Wieman.  “Improved Learning In a Large-Enrollment Physics Class,” Science, Volume 332, no. 6031  (May 13, 2011): pp. 862-864.  Available online here.  Supplemental material available here.