More universities are offering large portions of curriculum online than ever before. By the year 2019, roughly half of all college classes will be E-Learning based. Traditional institutions of higher learning are converting more and more courses to online only versions. Various trends in E-Learning have contributed to the rise of many cheap or in some cases free education alternatives and is forcing universities to adapt. Given these trends, what is the current state of E-Learning in 2017? Following are a few of the major contributing pieces to the educational landscape puzzle.
Massive Open Online Courses allow millions of people to take the same course at once from just about anywhere in the world! These courses are rising in popularity and many universities have joined in to offer free open online education. These open online courses have a massive online social group to ask questions and solicit feedback offering a whole new level of collaboration and thinking. In the future these courses will incorporate virtual reality, allowing one to be fully immersed in an educational landscape. Below are some links to great MOOC’s resources.
Open Educational Resources (OER) is a term coined for freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. The OER movement has already taken hold offering all kinds of free content and courses to any one in the world.
The Khan academy allows a person to take control of their own learning by working on the skills you choose at your own pace with free online courses. They offer thousands of online courses ranging from mathematics to history.
Universities and Higher Education
This paper explains the state of e learning and higher education much better than I ever could.
The key findings:
- nearly all institutions have a major interest in e-learning
- it can increase enrollment by increasing access
- two year institutions have historically been leaders in using distance courses to attract nontraditional students
- a centralized model provides greater efficiency and seamless integration of lare scale implementations of e-learning
- IT leaders desire to more than double the number of e-learning staff in central IT
- there is a disconnect between what students say they want and the technology services that institutions currently provide
- The most important factors in selecting technologies for e-learning are reliability, security, ease of use, and effectiveness
- The greatest concerns about e-learning are the adequacy of staff and technological know-how of faculty
- Accreditors are most concerned about learning outcomes, regardless of the delivery mode
- Maturity in e-learning involves 7 factors: policy/governance, ongoing evaluation and training, priority, synergy, outcomes assessment, readiness, and investment in faculty
- Smaller institutions have the greatest potential to expand their e-learning initiatives
Web 2.0 offers a new more socially interactive web. It is driven by an emphasis on human collaboration and intuition. The web now offers a two way platform of communication between producers and consumers, allowing users to contribute and write their own content. Instead of basic web pages and forms, we have fully interactive web applications. This evolution of the web has resulted in an explosion of online tools for teachers to use. There are many examples of tools but the following list is very comprehensive and does a good job of breaking down what each tool is useful for.
There are many platforms that now allow for live streaming content. Video services such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch all allow for teachers to upload video and stream educational content to any one around the world in real time!