5 Trends for Online Education In 2017

U.S. News and World Report has a post a bout trends for 2017 of which online students should be aware.  The fire trends they list are:

  1. Greater emphasis on nontraditional credentials (i.e., microcredentials and certificates rather than degrees).
  2. Increased use of bid data to measure student performance. (To help make sure students are on track.)
  3. Greater incorporation of artificial intelligence into classes. (For student support and assistance.)
  4. Growth of nonprofit online programs.
  5. Online degrees in surprising and specialized  disciplines.  (For disciplines that might not a first seem suited for online.)


Amherst Rejects EdX

Inside Higher ED reports that Amherst College has rejected a partnership with EdX, the elite Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology MOOC nonprofit. According to IHE:

Some faculty wanted to expand Amherst’s repertoire and experiment online. Even professors who opposed a deal with edX say the college should look at doing more online. But the majority of faculty came to doubt edX on a number of fronts.

. . .

Some Amherst faculty concerns about edX were specific to Amherst. For instance, faculty asked, are MOOCs, which enroll tens of thousands of students, compatible with Amherst’s mission to provide education in a “purposefully small residential community” and “through close colloquy?”

They also expressed broader concerns about the direction in which edX and others like it are taking higher education.


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.


MOOCs are “Here to Stay”

Tanya Roscorla has an interesting Post on Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) over at Converage Magazine.  She quotes Jonathan Becker, an assistant professor of educational leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University, as stating that the announcement by 12 more schools to offer this types of courses “is a pretty loud call to action for other universities.”  He believes that this announcement “legitimizes these types of courses.

The 12 schools (California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, UC San Francisco, University of Edinburgh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Toronto, University of Virginia and University of Washington) all signed an agreement with Coursera, which is a company started last year by two computer science faculty at Stanford University.

The full post is available here.