Three key organizations in the field of online learning have partnered together to produce a two-page handout that summarizes emerging issues, in the hopes that those concerns can be addressed in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. This partnership hopes to create “a unified voice on pending federal regulations for today’s higher education students.”
Read more on the WCET blog, or view the handout below.
A well-written and comprehensive overview of the pitfalls of advocating for technological change without due consideration of faculty expertise. Highly recommended.
This helps to explain why many predictions of the future fail: not because the technology itself will not materialize, but because the people doing the predictions are not experts in the situations or domains they are aiming to affect. They develop tools without watching the way people work. This is why their visions strike us as funny, odd, or even offensive. And it’s why, when a technologist tries to tell a designer, a doctor, or a teacher “you will work like this in the future,” they laugh.
Baldwin, Jonathan. “‘Against the Natural Order of Things’: Why E-Learning Refuses to Take Off.” In Centennial Conversations: Essential Essays in Professional, Continuing, and Online Education. UPCEA, 2015.
A summary of the attitudes that often accompany a faculty member’s reluctance to teach online, as well as advice on how to encourage those late adopters.
Subtle though it may seem, the center of higher education is shifting to learning and away from teaching. The enterprise is now about the student, not the faculty member. Students have become savvy consumers, demanding services and attention that they previously ceded to the faculty domain. The transition is not an easy one for the ego of faculty who are accustomed to being at the center.
The Reluctant Online Faculty Member (Online: Trending Now #62)
In August, UPCEA and OLC sent a letter about online learning to the leadership of the House Committee on Education and Workforce as well as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in response to recent public statements which appear to question the integrity of online education.
As early as 2010, a Department of Education meta-analysis of research into the relative effectiveness of online and classroom-based learning put to rest any remaining question that what goes on in a classroom is inherently superior to what can be accomplished online; indeed, that study, and others that have followed, indicate that online learning is often superior in achieving measurable learner outcomes2. To question the inherent “integrity” and “quality” of online learning in 2015 is simply unsupported by overwhelming evidence.
UPCEA and OLC Joint Letter to Congress, August 28, 2015.
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.
University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership, April 2015 and updated in June 2015.
This report is part of a process to identify the range of what will constitute successful online leadership on America’s campuses—not merely what many might be doing now, but those standards, aspirations, and principles essential far into future. The intent is to provide information to help establish the full array of professional skills and services necessary to successfully support online learning, and to guide university leaders, faculty, students, and the public at large to embrace online education as integral to academe.
The Hallmarks of Excellence identify seven areas of concentration in online course and program leadership and development: Advocacy and Leadership Within the University; Entrepreneurial Initiatives; Faculty Support; Student Support; Digital Technology; External Advocacy and Leadership Beyond the University; and Professionalism. Each of these facets includes useful definitions and justifications, providing suggestions for specific implementation strategies, structures, and plans.
UPCEA’s Hallmarks of Excellence have been endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), Quality Matters (QM), and EDUCAUSE.