Study Offers Institutions Guidance for Continued Growth of Online Learning

E-learning short coursesImage by London College of Fashion short courses via FlickrEven though the report is from 2009, and focuses on tertiary learning and teaching in the States, it is well worth a read no matter as many of the findings still hold true. Highlights from the two-volume report, Online Learning as a Strategic Asset (links to download below), which contains the results of 231 interviews conducted with administrators, faculty, and students at 45 public institutions across the US, include the following:

“Faculty from across the university [Brandies University] are participating, many feel the quality is as good as or better than face-to-face instruction, and an overwhelming majority have recommended online courses to students (Bruce R. Magid, source).

“While faculty engagement in online learning is solid, faculty expressed dissatisfaction with the support services provided and the incentives offered by public universities. Faculty ranked seven of eight support dimensions as “below average,” including support for online course development, course delivery, and students; policies on intellectual property; recognition in tenure and promotion; and incentives for developing and delivering online courses. Only technology infrastructure was rated average. Faculty gave the lowest ranking to their institution’s incentives for developing and for delivering online courses” (source).

“The faculty survey data indicate growing acceptance of online learning among faculty but highlight a number challenges, including campus support services and faculty incentives” (source).

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About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ (http://www.ethosconsultancynz.com/). I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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