All posts by Deborah Cooke

Link: An iPad in Every Home

Straumsheim, C., (2014) An iPad in Every Home

Lynn U.’s tablet revolution marches on. Its next initiative: affordable online degree programs delivered exclusively through iPads — at tuition rates that are a fraction of what the university regularly charges.Since its moment in the national spotlight, Lynn has replaced textbooks with Apple’s iPads and iBooks, adopted iTunes U as its learning management system and built its own attendance and gradebook app. Its revamped distance education programs, launching next fall with seven degree options, will extend the tablet revolution to Lynn’s online students at a fraction of what the programs used to cost.

Read full article here.

Letter to the Editor: Online Learning Success Depends on Student Effort

“Online learning is not for everyone — not for all students nor all faculty. It takes the ability to motivate oneself and the expectation of doing work on your own. Some researchers have identified a trait they call “learning presence,” which is a combination of self-efficacy and self-regulation, and found that it is needed for students to succeed in online classes.

Students need to begin an online class with the expectation of doing at least the same amount of work as they would in a face-to-face course. The standard is that students should spend two to three hours per week outside class for every hour in a class. So for a three-credit hour course, students should be spending nine to 12 hours per week in total. The same standard is used for online classes; even though there typically is no “class time,” students should expect to spend approximately 10 hours each week on the class in a regular term.”

Read the full article here.

Link: The Quest for Demonstrable Outcomes

Schejbal, D., (2015) The Quest for Demonstrable Outcomes.

There is a buzz, even a frenzy, about competency-based education (CBE). Brought together by the Lumina Foundation-sponsored organization C-BEN (the Competency-Based Education Network), 30 institutions and 4 university systems have developed or are developing competency-based programs. About another 600 schools have claimed to be developing CBE programs, though there is no accurate data to substantiate that number. Why and why now?

Increasing Student Success with Large Course Redesign Strategies: an Overview and Recommendations for NC State

Reviewing the National Center for Academic Transformation’s Pew Program in Course Redesign, the author extracts information and data to support the notion that by redesigning large enrollment courses four key institutional issues can be impacted:

  • Retention Rates
  • Graduation Rates
  • Increased access and student success
  • Reduced costs

Link: Managing Post-Secondary Online Programs

In this special feature ‘hub’ of articles on the management of post-secondary online programs, you’ll find over 20 categories of topics that cover a wide range of issues and implications for developing online programs in higher education.

Special Feature: “Managing Post-Secondary Online Programs”, EvoLLLution, August 3, 2015.

Link: Understanding the Changing Market for Professional Master’s Programs

Education Advisory Board (EAB), “Understanding the Changing Market for Professional Master’s Programs.” July 2015.

In both core disciplines and new niche fields, the key to capturing emerging market growth is customizing offerings not just to “working professionals” but to distinct segments within this group— career starters, career advancers, career changers, and career crossers—through features such as flexible delivery, stackable credentials, practical experience, accelerated format, interdisciplinary pathways, and professional development.

With the market for master’s degrees growing and changing, this segment is estimated to outpace all other degrees. The program focus will be on specific job skills that help students gain a new job or advance in an existing position.

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Link: Facing Flattening Enrollments? Alternate Student Pathways Might Help

David Godow, “Facing Flattening Enrollments? Alternate Student Pathways Might Help.” Education Advisory Board, October 2014.

Godow argues that enrollment growth can most sustainably be sourced from four previously underrepresented populations: international undergraduate students, community college transfers, adults returning to complete degrees, and professional master’s degree students. While institutions have historically shied away from targeting these populations due to the perception that such students have inadequate preparation for the university environment, developing targeted programming for these groups, including alternative paths to the degree, has proven successful.

Successful institutions have found that the different needs of these populations can often be met through “pathways” offering an alternative route to a degree. Pathways acknowledge that these students start from a different point and need a unique set of services and pedagogical approaches to be successful.

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Link: Cheating, Student Authentication and Proctoring in Online Programs

Dennis Berkey and Jay Halfond, “Cheating, Student Authentication and Proctoring in Online Programs.” New England Journal of Higher Education, July 20, 2015.

Educators in conjunction with UPCEA and WCET created a survey to learn more about what was being done about cheating in online programs, and how technology itself is being used in solutions.

By far the most frequently cited means of ensuring program integrity, specifically the deterrence of cheating, was reliance on honor codes or clearly articulated institutional policies. Three-quarters of these online leaders felt that establishing, articulating and enforcing such policies provided the essential foundation for online integrity, if not fully satisfactory solutions.