Archive for the ‘Online courses’ Category
Online education is quickly becoming a major phenomenon around the world. The ease and convenience it offers learners appeal to people just about everywhere, especially those who are trying to balance work, family, and other obligations with completing a degree or certification program. Yet certain nations have embraced online education more than others, leading the way both in terms of the number and variety of programs and new innovations to online learning itself. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the nations that are really stepping up the game when it comes to online education, though with the proliferation of high-speed internet connections and a growing need for highly educated candidates in technical positions around the world, other nations likely aren’t far behind.
A world where online learning is generalised and ends up replacing other education delivery modes could seriously impact the original purpose of a university. The development of online courses in lieu of university-based teaching also poses a more practical problem for the humanities. More than other university areas, the humanities depend on public funds for teaching students. If students can access online modules for free from Ivy League universities, they may not want to spend tens of thousands on a degree at a traditional university. The hard sciences can seek industry partners for research funding, while the humanities largely depend on government grants. In a system where ‘impact’ is increasingly driving research, this would be the death knell for many departments who would struggle to make a case for the short-term practical relevance of their research in a free-market economy.
If you were asked to name the most important innovation in transportation over the last 200 years, you might say the combustion engine, air travel, Henry Ford’s Model-T production line, or even the bicycle. The list goes on.
Now answer this one: what’s been the single biggest innovation in education? So where are we on the online education curve? Even though only a small fraction of those will actually complete a class, the rise of the MOOCs means we can begin thinking about how free, top-quality education could change the world.
Higher Education is currently undergoing some of the most profound changes in its history. Against a backdrop of increasing marketization, rising levels of student debt and far greater fully online offerings, the higher education lecturer is grappling with new ways of working and high expectations of teaching quality. This 3 year qualitative study based in The Open University UK investigates the ways in which HE distance learning lecturers are approaching professional development and learning, identifying what type of learning may be most effective in creating and sustaining an online teaching identity. The study also examines ways in which resistance discourse is shaping these identities and practices revealing emerging re-conceptualisations of what it means to be an effective and well-motivated distance learning lecturer. The investigation uses a framework for identity analysis which analyses professional identity via the expression of hegemonies, phenomenological, narrative articulations of identity, and a post-modern, constructivist view of identity which is shaped by social interactions and communities of practice. It highlights the importance of personal agency in identity formation. The results revealed a number of insights into the ways in which a combination of resistance discourse, professional learning and reflections from student interactions are shaping new understandings of professional knowledge in this context.
Course Builder is our experimental first step in the world of online education. It packages the software and technology we used to build our Power Searching with Google online course. We hope you will use it to create your own online courses, whether they’re for 10 students or 100,000 students. You might want to create anything from an entire high school or university offering to a short how-to course on your favorite topic.
Free online courses from the world’s leading universities. This collection includes over 500 free courses in the liberal arts and sciences. Download these audio & video courses straight to your computer or mp3 player.
What is it like to teach a free online course to tens of thousands of students? Dozens of professors are doing just that, experimenting with a format known as Massive Open Online Courses. And there are more providers than ever, some working with elite universities, and others that allow any professor to join in.
The Chronicle asked four professors, teaching on different platforms, to share their thoughts on the experience so far. The responses are based on e-mail interviews, which have been condensed and edited for publication.
Many factors explain the endurance of higher education institutions—the ascent of the knowledge economy, their crucial role in upper-middle class acculturation, our peculiar national enthusiasm for college sports—but the single greatest asset held by traditional colleges and universities is their exclusive franchise for the production and sale of higher education credentials.
In the last few months, however, that monopoly has begun to crumble. New organizations are being created to offer new kinds of degrees, in a manner and at a price that could completely disrupt the enduring college business model. The question is: Which colleges and universities will be the G.E. of the twenty-first century, and which will be as forgotten as U.S. Leather?
Read also: Khan Academy
While many who use digital technology in education are attempting new and innovative approaches to teaching over the internet, the use of videotaped lectures is still commonplace in distance education and in open education initiatives. This video argues that the lecture, a classroom technique that can be argued to be vestigial at best, even in the classroom ought to be updated rather than reproduced in the online classroom, by paying attention to the limitations and strengths of online video as a medium.
My primary goal is to encourage people to think about the way that various media affect how we communicate, that there should be different pedagogical approaches online than in the classroom. It seems rather obvious, but theres also a lot of tone-deaf stuff out there. And my pet peeve is the use of recorded classroom lectures for open ed and distance learning programs. The only thing more boring than a bad lecture is a decent lecture on Youtube.
The Saylor Foundation is pushing the open education movement forward and creating greater access to Open Educational Resources (OER). Saylor.org features over 200 free, self-paced, automated courses. While we do not confer degrees, we do offer the knowledge equivalent of thirteen popular disciplines.
We hire credentialed professors to create course blueprints and to locate, vet, and organize OER materials into a structured and intuitive format. Our consulting professors also create original OER content and link to freely posted copyrighted materials to fill in any gaps. Each course culminates with a final exam, and students receiving a passing grade can download a certificate of completion.
Our current focus is on the undergraduate college level with the goal of producing high course and program completion rates. We intend to focus on the primary, secondary, and post-graduate levels in the future.