Friday, January 11, 2013

components of a robust online educational experience

Online education improves as educational technology evolves. Today, a robust online course or program might include: 
  • Live interaction with faculty and students: Through Skype, webinars, and other video "chat" mechanics,  there is finally an opportunity for students to interact with their faculty and classmates in real time. 
  • Personalized communication and student portals: As client relationship management (CRM) tools are introduced into higher ed, we'll will find more and more schools creating personalized web sites for their students.  
  • E Portfolios: An online space to house work for exhibit and review is becoming a norm in both traditional and web-based classrooms. 
    The fear as online education evolves is how it might contribute to "predatory" educational practices.  The age of the internet allows for programs to go live without review, accreditation, etc. As such, it's critical that the learner is aware of his or her specific goals and researches their options before jumping into an online program. That said, many well established private and public institutions are integrating online education into their curriculum and I expect such ventures will create wonderful opportunities for self-directed and/or remote learners to pursue higher learning.

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    what i really think about online education

    Had you asked me ten years ago what I thought about online education my response would have been lukewarm at best. So much of learning, whether in a traditional classroom setting or even if more experential in nature, requires a certain amount of engagement between teacher and student, student and student and/or student and subject. And, quite frankly, the degree of engagement I felt was necessary for real learning to take place couldn't exist given the limitations of educational technology. But things have changed. Radically changed. And, as such, my feelings about online education have changed. And I think today's learner can, in fact, receieve a rich and interactive experience though online learning. 

    Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to research and explore some of the exciting educational opportunities available online (have you heard about MITx?) and I'll be looking for your feedback and experiences.

    So grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. We all have a lot to learn.