Distance Education Report
Current Issue: July 15, 2014
Once upon a time, distance education was all about “anywhere, anytime” access, with the primary market being adult students with career and family challenges that made coming to campus regularly difficult.
Today, all that has changed. According to statistics from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), today one-third of all students take at least one online course. Not only that, but 15 percent of all higher education students are studying in a program that is at least 80 percent online.
Packed to the Gills, MiraCosta College OK’d for More Online Classes
10 Ways to Realize the Potential of e-Learning
What Online Students Need to Know about Automated Grading
Four Universities Band Together to Share and Protect Digital Resources
Could an Online Degree Earned in Six to 12 Months Bring a Revolution to Higher Education?
Starbucks Will Send Thousands of Employees to Arizona State for Online Degrees
As a thoughtful, educated estimate, what is the total cost of course development for distance learning for your institution? Add the following elements: salaries for personnel hired specifically to develop courses or to teach others to do so, direct payments to instructors, and payments to purchase or lease courses from others.
The complex and confusing topic of state authorization of higher education institutions has grown even more murky over the past few weeks. Let’s clarify the current state of the issue.
Part of the confusion occurs because the U.S. Department of Education uses the words “state authorization” in at least two ways. In the first instance, state authorization refers to the action that a state takes to approve (authorize) an institution offering postsecondary education to be established within the state. The legal background for that work is widely misunderstood; to lessen that misunderstanding I recommend a book by my good friend and colleague Alan Contreras – College and State: Resources and Philosophies.
In theory, distance learning offers some wonderful advantages, such as increased interactivity for each individual student and the opportunity for each student to take all the time he or she needs to reach a full understanding of the subject. In practice, the lack of in-person contact can lead to isolation between students as instructors steer away from even attempting significant class discussion. Fewer tools have been developed for asynchronous discussion online, and teachers of traditional, discussion-intensive courses can have a hard time translating their classes into an online format.
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